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Learning leadership from horseback riding – more than meets the eye

Riina Koris (Department of Marketing and Communication, Estonian Business School, Tallinn, Estonia)
Hanna-Maija Alalauri (Corporate Banking Advisor, Tallinn, Estonia)
Ülle Pihlak (Department of Entrepreneurship, Estonian Business School, Tallinn, Estonia)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




This paper aims to present the equine leadership principles which horseback riders are successfully using and which can also be successfully used in leadership of people.


This paper relies on semi-structured expert interviews with managers–leaders who are also horseback riders.


Based on the expert interviews, the main equine leadership principles which can effectively be used in leadership of people are trust, fair treatment, calmness, assertiveness, control over one’s feelings, confidence, responsibility, consistency (routine and predictability), courage, sense of empathy, and the ability to express gratitude and praise.

Practical implications

The paper provides a practical insight on relevant leadership principles for leadership trainers, coaches and teachers, as well as executive training organizations who engage in leadership training. It saves busy executives, leadership trainers and teachers hours of reading time by offering concisely the leadership principles which must be fostered in existing and future leaders to make an impact on the employees and contribute toward a better working environment.


To study the topic leadership, this paper uses an innovative and intriguing context (horseback riding) and couples it with the topic of leadership of people.



Koris, R., Alalauri, H.-M. and Pihlak, Ü. (2017), "Learning leadership from horseback riding – more than meets the eye", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 11-14.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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