The Power of the Herd: Working with Eponaquest’s Horses to Master the Five Roles
November 3, 2022 – November 6, 2022
Introductory & Advanced – Facilitated by Linda Kohanov
Time: 9:30am to 5:30pm daily
Fee includes lunch and workshop materials.
In this four-day, in-depth workshop, bestselling author Linda Kohanov combines tools from her two latest works, The Power of the Herd and The Five Roles of a Master Herder. Participants will practice skills featured in each through a powerful combination of equine-facilitated learning activities and step-by-step processes that help people take these principles back to the human world.
Practicing with Eponaquest’s herd of experienced teaching horses offers a unique opportunity to learn how to work with different personalities, from the gentle and cooperative to the shy and highly sensitive to the more challenging dominant horses who demand a refined and committed use of power. “While I love to travel and meet new horses,” Linda says, “there are some limitations to how deep I can take participants at these guest facilities. Working with my own herd allows me to choose horses who I know can safely challenge people and therefore efficiently teach more advanced skills that I cannot cover in the introductory workshops I’m pleased to do in other cities.”
Participants will learn how to enhance the Five Roles of a Master Herder through the use of several key skills featured in the 12 Power of the Herd Guiding Principles. These innovative models—based on an ancient source of wisdom—offer a much-needed perspective on how free, empowered people can navigate continuously changing social and economic climates.
Both books, and the horse-facilitated activities based on these concepts, are inspired by traditional herding cultures where tribes must manage large groups of powerful animals without the benefit of fences and with very little reliance on restraints. “The word Leader doesn’t begin to describe the multi-faceted skills these people need to modulate the behavior of aggressive or fearful animals while keeping the herd and tribe together, Linda says. “That’s why I came up with the term Master Herder. The word ‘master’ in this case does not refer to an aggressive, command control style leader. Rather it speaks of the need for each person to master five roles of power and social influence. Master Herders exhibit a sophisticated understanding of leadership and group cohesion as they move through seasonal grazing lands, facing predators, and dealing with changing climates/resources along the way. This knowledge, virtually lost to modern ‘civilized’ leaders, is based on the little-known fact that among cattle and horses, the herd leader and the herd dominant are often different animals. Furthermore, group coordination and solidarity are reinforced through companionship, nurturing, and sentinel-related activities.
“Leaders, Dominants, Sentinels and Nurturer/Companions are all crucial to herd cohesiveness,” Linda emphasizes. “The animals themselves tend to play more than one role, though few are fluent in all the roles. The thing about being human among herbivores ten times your size is that you really do need to perform all these roles well to become a Master Herder, especially in the great unfenced back-country where freedom abides. Humans also need to separate predatory power from the other four roles. When used consciously and judiciously, the Predator role keeps life in balance with available resources. But for the most part, it is important to employ the Dominant, Leader, Sentinel and Nurturer/Companion roles in their non-predatory forms. A Master Herder, then, is a well-balanced, socially intelligent leader who also acts as a caretaker and a guardian. These same skills are more important than ever in managing groups of free empowered people.”
Linda’s professional clients include Nike, Raytheon, Kaiser, and Chubb Insurance, among others, including therapeutic riding centers and social service agencies. She has also taught this model at universities and conferences in the US and Europe. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you know how to employ all of these roles,” she says. “Understanding the differences between these ‘power tools,’ and how to combine them has been a revelation to leaders, teachers, parents, clergy; basically anyone interested in accessing the greener pastures of humanity’s own untapped potential.”
This work is for all adults who want to function at a high level and reach their full potential. Executive coach Larry Freed is one of many professionals who have embraced this model in their work with a variety of clients. His description of its relevance says it all:
“Socially Intelligent Leadership” is the most important mindset and skillset our leaders – and ourselves – must adopt and master in our rapidly and radically changing work environments. There has never been a time in human history when the challenges and constraints managers must navigate have been as complex and diverse as they are today. Long gone are the days when we could simply dictate edicts from on high and command-and-control subordinates into submission and rote compliance. We’re now in an entirely new phase of human evolution that requires a new paradigm and approach to how we collectively make things happen and get things done.
Ironically, what Linda Kohanov has learned over her decades of interacting with horses, as well as her extensive research into the individuals and cultures who’ve mastered the art of co-existing with these stately beings, is that the centuries-old traits and characteristics that make a master horse herder are identical to those that are now required to effectively engage our modern workforce. In fact, the five core roles she has identified that herders must master to productively interact and work with their horses are the exact same five roles modern managers and leaders must master to make their visions and goals become a reality.
In my professional work as an Executive Coach for some of the largest organizations in the world, I have found no other leadership framework or language that is as easy for people to understand and put to use to improve their leadership capabilities and performance as this one. The five roles, and Linda’s clear, down-to-earth explanation of them, is not yet another contrived model of “leadership” based on mass-marketed buzz-words. Instead, they represent the natural way humans think and operate that we’ve experienced over thousands of years of interacting with the animals we’ve relied upon to prosper and survive as a species.
When people learn these five roles and how they play out in their mature and immature forms, they can easily grasp exactly what she is talking about and how these roles effect our personal and professional lives. That’s what makes Linda’s work and this book so valuable and important; it’s not just another leadership model. Linda has discovered the heart of how we connect with each other and how we can work together in productive and empowering ways to achieve our individual and organizational visions and goals, and collectively move our culture and society forward. This book provides the blueprint, language, and specific mindsets and behaviors for us ALL to become masterful leaders capable of creating the lives and livelihoods we dream of and cherish. That is the promise of Linda’s work. She delivers on this promise.
— Larry Freed • NuView Coaching • www.NuViewCoaching.com • Making Visions & Goals Become Reality
Endorsements for the book itself also speak to the diversity of this model:
“An innovative and practical nature-based approach to leadership — and life. [It’s] not just for corporate executives. Parents, teachers, community organizers, film directors, and especially politicians would all benefit from learning these skills.”
— William Shatner, actor, director, and author of Leonard and Up Till Now
“As a trauma specialist, I help people recover from abuse and criminal acts. Over the years, I’ve learned that empowered families are crucial to protecting their loved ones to begin with, for helping survivors of extreme experiences heal, and for leading the kind of cultural change that prevents violence. The Five Roles of a Master Herder provides a template for all adults to reclaim their power and use it wisely, at work and, perhaps more importantly, at home.”
— Rebecca Bailey, PhD, psychologist and author of Safe Kids, Smart Parents and Equine Connections: Polyvagal Principles
“Linda Kohanov presents an intriguing model for human organizations adapted from those found among animals… an important addition to the literature on self-actualization, leadership, and natural horsemanship.”
— Rick Lamb, PhD, author of Human to Horseman
“A seminal masterpiece, Linda Kohanov’s The Five Roles of a Master Herder is a treasure of enlightened insights on how the nature of horse sense can help us find our balance between the lion and the lamb. Far beyond mere feel-good metaphors and self-help clichés, Kohanov clearly defines how nonpredatory power can lead to an evolved level of emotional heroism and the genuinely empathetic emotional intelligence needed to heal a world suffering a crisis of predatory leaders. A must-read for anyone looking to light the way forward in a darkening, increasingly out-of-control world.”
— Chris Irwin, author of Horses Don’t Lie and Dancing with Your Dark Horse
No previous horse experience is necessary.
For More Information: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 520-455-5908.
- All participants are required to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid test administered within 72 hours of the start of the workshop upon arrival at Eponaquest at Eagle Way. Individuals who fail to meet this requirement will not be permitted to take part in any program.
- All participants will have their temperatures checked upon arrival each day and will be asked a list of Covid-19 screening questions.
- We will maintain social distancing of at least six feet at all times, while indoors and outdoors. Masks will be required to be worn when indoors. Most of our activities will take place outdoors.
Cancellation Policy: Cancellation up to 30 days prior to the event start date results in a credit of one-half the workshop tuition. There is no tuition credit for a cancellation 30 days or less before the event start date.