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3 Leadership Styles In Horse Training

Which kind of leader will you be with your horse?

July 25, 2018

It is natural for your horse to crave leadership. In a herd, a leader will protect other horses from the dangers of the world. As riders and horse owners, you must rise up to the occasion and be the confident handler your horse needs and desires. A good leader isn’t overly aggressive, but knows how to maintain safe boundaries. Here’s your chance to find out what leadership style you fall into.

The Aggressive Leader

In this form of leadership, you let the horse know what and when they are supposed to do something. The conversation goes one way with you setting all the demands. The boundaries are well established and your horse knows to respect them. This type of person is usually very goal oriented and less interested in developing a partnership with their horse.

While this form of leadership can be useful, it also has many drawbacks. The goal should be to connect with your horse, so that they want to please you. The horses under this style become almost robotic.

The Assertive Leader

In most situations, horse owners should strive to be an assertive leader. They genuinely care about their horse and seek to develop a bond of mutual respect. These handlers will listen to the horse and work together as a team. The horses are usually motivated to please their leader.

As the ideal style, the horse still knows what is expected, but the lines of communication are open. There should be goals and a clear plan. Together, the horse and rider work to serve one another.

The Passive Leader

While this person is still a leader, they will let the horse run the show. This leader may be asking the questions, but they let the horse answer however they please.

The requests this leader asks are not demands. In some situations, this can help open up a horse. Other times, the horse will try to take on the leader role since there isn’t a clear one already established.

Each situation can call for a different style of leadership. It’s important to remain flexible and understanding. While assertive leadership should be the goal, you may also have to become an aggressive or passive leader if the situation makes it necessary.

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