We work with established leaders who are committed to expanding their capacities
Expanding Your Range
Working with horses helps leaders uncover blind spots, understand the limitations of their current strategies, and gain access to a wider range of responses. The result is more awareness of impact on others, greater clarity in communication, and increased style flexibility.
Horses become team members. Together, you accomplish tasks that require communication, cooperation, and the ability to draw on all of your team members' resources. The result is a greater capacity to build flexible teams which embrace and respond to new and unpredictable challenges with greater ease. Programs are customized to the specific needs of your team.
Over the course of 6-12 months, executive or startup teams work together to develop a new set of behaviors and a shared language that enable them to strengthen their performance, achieve specific goals and create their desired organizational culture.
Equine-Assisted Leadership Development
Why we work with horses
Expert collaborators and adapters
For 55 million years horses have survived an ever-changing environment because of their ability to adapt and collaborate. Even in today's technologically advanced societies, horses continue to be invaluable. Horses organize themselves quickly and efficiently, with a fluid social structure; leadership positions are given to the most competent members rather than the physically strongest. Horses offer unwavering attention, remarkable perceptiveness, and unfiltered real-time feedback which allows you to accelerate your learning.
What you will be doing with the horses
You will lead horses and people through a variety of exercises, learning to build trust and cooperation as the foundation of leadership excellence. You will receive immediate feedback, allowing you to make real-time adjustments in leadership style and behavior. This experiential learning program promotes powerful cognitive, emotional, and physical breakthroughs. No horseback riding or horsemanship experience is necessary.
Horses at the heart of Stanford's history
The birth place of Stanford University
Leland Stanford, Jr. was working with over 700 horses at the Red Barn. Inspired by their power and beauty, he watched his horses train every morning—including on the day he died. In 1885 he started to build the university around the Barn. The University's spirit of innovation has its roots in Leland's revolutionary horse breeding program, which led to 13 world records. Motion pictures were invented here when Leland commissioned the first film as a way to prove that horses had all four hooves off the ground when running. The Red Barn Leadership Program continues this tradition of equine-inspired innovation.
Leaders who are committed to growth and excellence
Leaders of organizations who are actively looking to achieve leadership excellence and expand their impact come to our programs to fine tune their existing skills and grow new capacities. They are executives, founders, innovators, researchers, non-profit directors, general managers, and community leaders. These leaders and their teams work on communicating with greater clarity, responding to change, and inspiring others to action.
Supporting you on your leadership path
Jacqueline grew up on a ranch with many horses. From a young age, she was trained by her horses to be perceptive, empathetic, and adaptable. After 20 years experience in organizational development, leadership facilitation, and conflict resolution, Jacqueline envisioned a new methodology where horses would enhance the effectiveness of workshops for established leaders. She knew leaders would gain valuable insights and expand their capacities exponentially. In 2011, Jacqueline and her cofounders created the Stanford Red Barn Leadership Program.
Lead Facilitator/Program Developer
Lela's love of horses goes back to when she learned to ride as a little girl. She attended a horse leadership course 8 years ago and was amazed by the depth and speed of breakthroughs she witnessed. Lela brings extensive facilitation and program development experience to the Red Barn and specializes in emotional intelligence (EQ). She facilitates the popular class Interpersonal Dynamics (aka Touchy Feely) at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and women’s circles for their Women in Management Program. Lela is a partner and founder at EQED, an advisory firm focused on EQ development. Previously, she co-founded three other ventures including a fund of hedge funds, a banking software company and a natural cosmetics brand. Lela spent 7 years in finance, trading commodity derivatives and credit at Goldman Sachs in London. She holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Dennis attended a Red Barn leadership program as a client a few years ago and was hooked. Dennis's specialty is emotional intelligence (EQ) development and he saw how powerful working with horses is in developing leadership skills. He facilitates the popular class Interpersonal Dynamics (aka Touchy Feely) at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and coaches within their executive and MSx programs. Dennis is a partner at EQED, an advisory firm focused on EQ development, and has been an executive coach for over a decade. Previously, he had a 20+ year corporate career completing that part of his life as a VP of Human Resources in a multi-national software company.
Lead Facilitator/Program Developer
Through many joyful hours spent with horses in her youth, Joyce gained a deep appreciation for their enormous capacity and generous willingness to help us activate more of our potential and become better leaders. Joyce brings over 25 years of leadership, innovation, and change management experience. Since founding Energyatwork.co in 2002, she has worked closely with leaders around the world to refine their leadership skills and expand the ways they influence their communities -- while having plenty of energy to enjoy fulfilling, and healthy personal lives. Previously, as an executive in leading Silicon Valley companies, she pioneered online consumer financial services and was the CEO of a database infrastructure company in the 1990s. She began her career as a strategic management and technology consultant. Joyce holds a Masters in Public Administration from Princeton and received her B.A. from Yale.
Since discovering the incredible capacity for horses to enhance our leadership and communication skills, Lauren has become passionate about bringing this work to others. She is an instructor of Strategic Communication at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a speaking coach for their TED-like program, known as LOWKeynotes. In addition to her work at Stanford, Lauren has her own private practice, Resonate Coaching, where she helps clients increase their impact through the crafting and delivery of compelling presentations that resonate with audiences. Lauren received her J.D. from the Stanford Law School and her B.A. in psychology from Stanford University. She’s a certified leadership development coach through the Coaches Training Institute.
A lifelong equestrian, Avery has devoted her career to horsemanship education. Avery earned a BA and an MA in Sociology from Stanford with an emphasis on human leadership development in equine-facilitated contexts.
Avery went on to manage the Stanford Red Barn from 2010-2016 and earn her United States Dressage Federation Gold Medal in 2014. At present, Avery can be found in the High Performance dressage arena. As both a perpetual student and a visionary educator in equestrian spaces, Avery delights in how horses both humble and uplift their human partners.
Gwyn has been involved with horses for more than 45 years, and recently celebrated 30 years of commitment to the Red Barn. A founding member of the Stanford Equestrian Team, she has served in a coaching or advisory capacity since 1991, and was instrumental in the renovation of the Red Barn Equestrian Center in 2004. As a professional show jumper, she particularly enjoyed helping riders make deep connections with their equine partners, and to find the joy within the process of training and competition. Her passion is partnerships and programs that combine horses, athletics and service, particularly for youth or underserved communities. Gwyn is currently on the Hunt Seat coaching staff for the Stanford Equestrian Team.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do we ride the horses?
No, there is no horseback riding.
What do we wear?
What if we have no horse experience?
No horse experience is necessary. Many of our clients have never been around horses.