Equine Guided Development

Learning from the presence and wisdom of horses

What is it?

Equine Guided Development (EGD) is fast becoming recognised for its deep, lasting learning impact and for its potency in creating the courageous leaders and teams that we now need for our 21st Century world.

Participants are invited into a process of learning from and with horses in a very safe, trusting environment created by highly trained facilitators – as well as the horses of course!

  • Having been around for 60 million years horses are masters at leading through uncertainty. Their leadership is sensory and fluid, courageous and sensitive. Finely tuned to herd dynamics, it is grounded in the present, able to change direction mid-stride to escape threats or explore higher or more fertile ground.
  • As herd animals, horses pay attention at an energetic level to themselves and to others, have flexible leadership skills to suit their environment, and operate in an ego-less way for the good of everyone.
  • Unencumbered by common human, psychological frailties, horses respond to their ‘clients’ without judgement, and provide instant, honest feedback on their behaviour and impact.
  • They can ‘read’ non-verbal signals, they can detect incongruence, and they are quick to reward leadership when it shows up, and where trust and respect are well earned.

This ensures that people learn very quickly, easily and accurately. Equipped with valuable new awareness and insight, they soon begin to understand that, to lead successfully, you must cast aside pretence and step into your authentic self.

Because EGD provides a great leveller for people, these sessions play a key role in enabling a group or team to build intimacy and to bond, which creates a strong foundation for a deep and wide-reaching developmental journey.

As many of our clients come to discover, much can be achieved in a very short space of time.

Who is it for?

Equine guided development is a key part of Global Warriors offerings for leaders, developing leaders, and teams and is most often offered as part of a wider programme, where the insights, learnings and themes are continuously woven in, and anchored down, as participants continue through their development journey with us.

New research suggests there is a strong correlation between time spent interacting with animals and enhanced mental wellbeing and empathic connection, which are key markers for our current day leaders.

More recently, we have had wonderful success in bringing the equine wisdom and magic into virtual learning experiences. This is something we are looking to evolve further as technology offers new opportunities to bring a little more reality into the virtual environment.

How do I know if Equine Guided Development is right for me?

 We’ve put together some of the most often asked questions on the right.  Just click on the ‘+’ to see the answers.

What outcomes can people expect from an Equine Guided Development experience?

Some of the outcomes both individuals and teams can expect from EGD include:

  • Increasing their confidence to make decisions and take actions based on courage and awareness, as opposed to automatic, conditioned responses
  • Building effective and resourceful relationships based on trust, respect and authenticity
  • Developing skills to navigate uncertainty and work through uncomfortable, emotionally charged situations
  • Working with different positions of leadership to expand and stretch their range and impact as leaders to meet different situational needs
  • Facing their fears and crossing development edges, to learn new behaviours and grow personal power and respect
  • Deepening and expanding their current levels of Emotional, Social and Team Intelligence, evolving their presence and impact as a leader and/or as a collective team
What happens on a “Horse day”?

Prior to any event, participants are fully briefed on what they can expect from the EGD experience and guided on how to prepare e.g. clothing, travel etc. This helps to build an atmosphere of trust and psychological safety within the group and with their facilitators.

When they arrive, and once settled in, they are then guided through a series of experiential exercises designed to help them understand their impact as a leader and/or team member.  While working with the horses, everyone receives an opportunity both to see their own personal leadership style in action and to get an understanding of their wider team or ‘herd’ in operation.

It’s important to note that all activities take place with both feet on the ground – EGD doesn’t involve horse riding or pony trekking! No prior horse experience is necessary.

What are the risks in working with horses? How will you ensure my safety? What if I’m scared?

All participants are thoroughly briefed and supported regarding safety – theirs and the group, including the horses – throughout the session.

It is not unusual for participants to feel some trepidation or anxieties when it comes to working with horses. Some may even have fears based on phobias or past trauma. In all cases, people are supported wherever they are, and gently encouraged so that their needs are met, and new wisdom and learning can be gained. We uphold a Learning by Choice policy, so participants are never forced to do anything against their will.


The next evolutionary leap of leadership

Take a look at Our Philosophy and you’ll see that our firm belief is that a new model of leadership is needed to take the world into the next phase of its evolution – that the time has come to make the leap from leadership to warriorship. Our aim is to be the pioneers of this work, and we are currently in the process of designing programmes to awaken the warrior within. Read our blog for more on our take on warriorship and its role in the world. And keep an eye on these pages for news about our first warriorship programmes!

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