Learning Valuable Lessons from Horses

Horses are beautiful to look at, but you can also learn from them. Did you know horses can serve as a tremendous leadership example? The lead mare sets the direction and pace of the herd, while the lead stallion keeps the herd together and protects them from predators. Also, when horses have babies, “it takes a village” to raise them; all horses in a herd contribute to raising new or young ones. Horses care very much about cohesion and staying healthy. They’re much smarter than most people think, as any horse owner would attest to.

Rather than focusing on one thing, horses have eyes that see almost 360 degrees around them. Humans sometimes get too focused on “one little thing,” while horses can remind us that it’s important to see things from many angles.

Horses value community, and know they have a certain role in their herd. Humans can take a lesson from them, realizing they don’t have to “do it all,” and it’s okay to ask for help from family, friends and community members. In a typical herd, there’s a horse that’s a leader, one who stands guard, one who is good with children (both human and horse), and then there’s the quiet observer, just to give you an example.

People who value having resting time will appreciate that horses, too, know when to conserve their energy and unwind. Horses move when they need to, in their own timing. Sometimes they jockey for position, but eventually they settle down and pay attention to one emergent leader in the herd. They know when it’s time to “go” and they know when it’s time to rest.

If you think about horses in popular culture, why do we seem so drawn to them? Perhaps it’s because they embody the kind of spirit we all aspire to have—unbridled freedom, looking beautiful and graceful, able to gallop like a champion, a diligent attitude when needed, and the ability to be reliable and steadfast throughout life.

Humans and horses have a special bond, and even though they don’t speak, horses teach us many valuable life and leadership lessons.