Horses are very much like humans in that they are social animals.
- They have defined roles within their herds.
- They have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods.
- An approach that seems to work with one horse may not work with another.
- At times, they seem stubborn and defiant.
- They like to have fun.
In other words, in some ways a herd is very similar to a human team.
However, unlike humans, horses are prey animals and their very survival depends on the strength and unity of their herd. Horses are constantly aware of their surroundings and in tune with their herd mates. They have developed an acute sensitivity to their environment and respond to subtle changes in energy and intent.
So, what happens when you put a human team together with a horse team?
The horses will respond to the energy and intentions of the humans around them, effectively becoming a mirror to the human team. The feedback is immediate and non-judgemental. Through that feedback, participants develop an understanding of how their behavior affects others and the dynamics of the teams.
The horse acts as a mirror, helping to focus on the issues clients bring to the session. Like situations in the workplace where employees face new challenges regularly, the use of horses places your team members in novel situations where they may be unsure of how to proceed successfully.