Youth Equine Leadership: Learning Corporate Management From Horses

Youth Equine Leadership: Learning Corporate Management From Horses

The unique programme entails learning essential life skills by training with horses

Shloka ShuklaUpdated: Friday, April 19, 2024, 04:06 PM IST
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Mumbai: Recently, alumni of Bhavishya Yaan, a student enrichment program run by the Rotary Club of Bombay, participated in an immersive initiative for students. The programme, Showcase, was led by Vidushi Karnani, the founder of Youth Equine Leadership, and Isabelle Hasledar, a certified leader coach.

‘Showcase’ was a youth leadership programme aimed at instilling ideas of collaboration, decision-making, and problem-solving through an unconventional learning experience involving horses. It pointed out the importance of non-verbal communication and trust between the horse and the rider.

“Connecting with an animal is such an amazing experience. You can communicate with a horse as well as with a human being because it all depends on the intention, energy, and love,” stated Isabelle, a corporate management trainer who trains with horses.

Isabelle further explained, “It all started with using horses as creatures for corporate leaders, this is a concept which was founded in Germany about 25 years ago.”

The students engaged in a variety of activities -- from obstacle courses to feeding the horses to learning to ride and caring for them. Each activity was thoughtfully devised with many participants revelling in the therapeutic interaction with the horses.

Rajan Chaurasiya, a student, said, “Horses are incredibly sensitive to body language. Witnessing how trainers establish trust and give clear instructions without relying on words was a valuable lesson.” Thanking the organisers for arranging such an event, he added, “Horses will move in the proper direction if you have clear vision and goals.”

The trainers urged the students to let go of their fears, build a connection with the animals, and enhance their emotional intelligence. The goal was to help them increase their sensitivity to their surroundings.

“Leadership isn’t in our curriculum but it is such a crucial part of one’s life that I think even the children should have the exposure to leadership through horses,” explained Vidushi, when asked about the inspiration behind this unique hands-on technique.

“Since it’s an experiential form of learning it sticks in the mind,” the proud Hippophile added.

Actress Manasi Salvi, who was a guest for the programme, was amazed with the unique initiative. "Classrooms teach technical knowledge, but on-field specialisation and on-field skill training is the key to excel in one’s career. Individuals with equestrian backgrounds have strong leadership skills. The Youth Equine Leadership programme having recognised this aspect conducts such events for these kids regularly and it’s always a pleasure to participate. A bright teen and a spontaneous orator, Vidushi Karnani’s immense dedication for this cause is exemplary. It was truly a wonderful experience."

The programme was a transformative experience that taught the youngsters many valuable life skills for their personal and professional lives. It fostered self-awareness and self-reflection, enabling participants to understand themselves better.

“For me, horses and animals are very much a part of the development of emotional quotient. What I saw today was that Isabelle was also integrating a social quotient,” shared Darshan Shah, a guest at the event.

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