HQ Leadership India is a training programme with horses trained by Isabelle Hasleder. By associating with horses, a person develops and improves his/her leadership skills in an effective way.
“HQ stands for horse quotient. We believe that a good horse-quotient helps people in building their leadership skills and makes them great leaders.
A person might have 20 different strategies but doesn’t know how to transfer/implement them. That’s where the horses help an individual,” she says.
She pursued the training as well as certification as a horse-assisted educator in Germany. “There are 300 horse leadership trainers around the world, but sadly, no trainers in Asia. I am the first one in the country to get a certification in the HorseDream concept,” says Isabelle.
The leadership classes take place at Chennai Equitation Centre at Sholinganallur. “Horse herds have highly complex social structures to allow the members very efficient and organised group movements. They follow a situation-dependent leadership which means that through the course of a week, there are many different leaders depending on the situation. Likewise, these are the kind of organisational structures you would expect from a new-age company. Horses are following these modern and very efficient social structures for thousands of years,” she explains.
There are 50 horses at the centre, but Isabelle uses 5-6 horses for a training session.“Some are shy, some are stubborn and some will have a high amount of energy. Participants get to train with three different horses and have to apply different strategies to tame them. Contrary to training in the classroom where participants are engaged in rational thinking, training with horses opens up the emotional state of people, which is important to transfer learning and adopt practices.”
Unlike other animals, the feedback of the horse is instant and honest because it directly mirrors a person’s manner of leading and their internal attitude. “As a trainer, it helps me to recognise the participants’ strengths and weaknesses. It only takes a small self-correction for a person to become more like our ‘real selves’, and horses can inspire us to adopt these changes,” she says.
Her architect husband Dhruv Futnani also helps her in training. They have also started training for children to boost their confidence level.