The best part of our Leading the Way class is learning that everyone, every animal, all beings, react differently to the same situation and their level of reaction is different as well. Our last exercise was on motivation. What motivates you and what motivates the horse.


Showing the two props – a carrot and a dressage whip – there was no doubt that the carrot was a reward and the whip was punishment. So we first had to understand that even though most people feel that a whip is punishment, it is not. We don’t hit a horse with it, we use it as an extension of our hand or a device to help up get the horse to do whatever we are asking of it.

Then came the self-discovery. Who prefers a reward to motivate them to do something and who will do something quicker if there is a “take away?” No recess, no going to a friend’s house, etc. The group was evenly divided.

Now for the horses. The challenge was to get the horse to walk from one end of the arena to the other. No touching the horse, no talking to the horse. Just body language and the motivation.

Even though all the horses worked better than others, all of our horses work for reward. Watch the video to see how the horses react to both motivational devices. Do they lose interest? Do they ignore the person? Are they attentive?

Now for the rest of the lesson. How to you get persons on your team to work together? How do you know if they prefer rewards or take away as motivation?

Leading the Way is our new Leadership Program that uses the nature of the horse to bring out the confidence, self-awareness, and leadership capabilities of the participants. For more information,