The Power of the Herd, by Linda Kohanov

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power-of-the-herd-kohanovIt turns out the skills needed to get along with a feisty horse are not so different to those required to get along in the business world and in life in general.

It’s all about horse sense, and author Linda Kohanov also finds that some of the great world leaders over the past thousand years or so were also adept horse men and women. Coincidence? Not necessarily.

Experts say that 90 percent of communication is non-verbal. Are we placing too much emphasis on the other 10 percent – the verbal? Probably.

The Power of the Herd, by Linda Kohanov
$US27.95; e-book or hardcover, from Amazon
New World Library
456pp, ISBN 978-1-60868-676-3

The book says: “Openness to learning from horses, rather than dominating, abusing and discarding them like objects, helps people reconnect with a different form of power.”

The Power of the Herd is split into three parts – the first is a Brief History of Power, outlining leadership and social evolution from an emotional/social intelligence point of view. Part two is Horse Sense at Work,  which introduces practical skills to cultivate emotional and social intelligence, non-predatory power, leadership, and visionary skills.

The third part gives 12 Guiding Principles, recapping the previous dozen chapters and serving as a workbook for working through coping strategies. Interesting case studies are included to give examples to help consolidate the messages.

One of the most useful maybe Guiding Principle 7 – Conserve Energy for True Emergencies. As in, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”; and number 12’s Enjoy the Ride, and ‘going back to grazing’.

“Horse herds exemplify collective non-predatory power in action. They are adept at negotiating individual and group needs simultaneously. And they are living examples of the evolutionary advantage of mutual aid over competition. Predators, even groups of predators like wolf packs, rarely attack herds of adult horses as they are incredibly dangerous when they join forces to protect themselves. And yet, horses do not “go for the throat” or enact revenge. And contrary to popular belief, they do not live in fear. They demonstrate high levels of emotional agility, going ‘back to grazing’ after eluding or fighting predators, spending the largest portion of each day in a state of relaxed awareness, gentle exploration, joyful play, deep peace, and profound connection.”

Managers and leader could do well to heed the messages from “the herd” and the horse itself. While perhaps not as appealing to equestrians as Kohanov’s previous books, The Power of the Herd does include many equine lessons that horse folks will find interesting in terms of their own “emotional IQ”.

Horses can teach us so much. And it could be that we’ve learned many things from these amazing creatures – but just a little help is needed to bring this knowledge out.


linda-kohanovAbout the author:

Linda Kohanov is an internationally recognized author, speaker, riding instructor, and horse trainer. In 1997, she founded Epona Equestrian Services, an Arizona-based collective of horse professionals, educators, coaches, and counselors exploring the potential of the horse-human bond. Due to increasing international interest, the business expanded, becoming Eponaquest Worldwide as she and her colleagues trained instructors who now practice on five continents.

Linda lectures and conducts workshops at conferences and retreat centers throughout the world, and since 2002, she and her colleagues have trained thousands of people. Seminars at her home base in Amado, Arizona, attract business leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, scientists, mental health professionals, artists, and coaches from around the world. Linda has developed innovative, highly effective approaches to leadership training and team building that have been embraced by executive coaches, sales managers, and major players in the aerospace industry. Starting in 2003, Linda and her colleagues began training instructors capable of leading their own seminars in the Eponaquest approach to equine-facilitated learning. By 2012, close to two hundred Eponaquest Instructors from the United States, Canada, Europe, England, Ireland, Australia, and South Africa had graduated from an apprenticeship program covering the most beneficial practices for enhancing the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of their clients.

Linda’s main website is

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