What makes The Leading With Horses “Herd”

Unique and Valuable?

Equine Assisted Coaching is about personal development. Leading with Horses has created a safe place for coaches, therapists, researchers and individuals to explore their patterns. We believe horses are uniquely adapted to coach humans. As prey animals they have developed sensitivity to their surroundings and as herd animals they communicate through their actions. Subtle changes in our actions or behaviors can provoke responses that give us immediate feedback about ourselves. Horses let us see ourselves in ways we cannot. 

As herd animals they learn to depend on each other for survival and work cooperatively and instinctively. The hierarchy within the herd can change over time. Leadership is obtained through intelligence and ability to protect or lead the herd, rather than brute force. This leadership dynamic has much to teach us about leading without dominance or intimidation. 

Leading with Horses offers select members of their herd for use in coaching and therapy sessions. An individual, group or team may come to work one-on-one with a specific horses in a round pen or arena, as well as observe the natural behaviors of the herd. This is not a riding program. The Coaches at Leading With Horses will work with Instructors and Therapists to customize a curriculum for their clients, or you can simply learn along-side your client.

Below is a list of our horses, their personality traits, and how and why working with each one would be beneficial.  The learning manifests through the equine/human interaction based on each individual's personality, matched with that of the horse. Not necessarily the same.

These are six common personalities of horses who have the ability to influence and change humans;

  1. An insecure or defensive horse will teach you to be a confident leader with clear quiet communication.

  2. A shy and untrusting horse will teach you to be patient and give the subject time to digest information

  3. A confident and interactive horse will give a person the opportunity to test their patience and to control a subject that wants to overshoot their authority with the herd.

  4. A physically disabled horse will give a person the opportunity to communicate with a subject that is not up to speed on training that others in the herd have had.

  5. A stubborn horse will give a person the opportunity to exercise problem-solving abilities and exert themselves without being a bully

  6. These champions will challenge you to match of wits. The clearest “mirror” of all.



Thoroughbred Gelding
Born 2008 - arrived at SCR 2010

Zen is a natural “healer”. He is an empathetic horse who seeks out people who are exhibiting stressful behavior. Zen’s position in the herd is to disarm a horse who is defensive.



German Warmblood, Gelding
Born 1991 - arrived at SCR 2005

Koenig is German-trained through Grand Prix (highest level of dressage competition), His name means “King”, and exerts wisdom and patience of a leader. He loves to perform tricks and to entertain a crowd. He can make the most insecure person feel comfortable and safe.

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BRUCE (Disruption)

Thoroughbred, Gelding
Born 2010 - arrived at SCR 2016

Bruce retired from racing with a career earnings of more than $100,000 in just a couple of years of racing.  He came to SCR after his race trainer tragically took her own life.  This year the Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) chose him for the “2019 Thoroughbred of the Year Award” for his work in equine therapy.  Bruce is a key coach in our suicide prevention program, and loves to engage with clients in less conventional ways – sometimes with a paintbrush!



Thoroughbred Gelding
Born 2005 - arrived at SCR 2014

A new sheriff is in town! Deputy has extensive training both on the ground and under saddle. He reached a point of “burn out” after being a show horse. There was not enough partnership and reward. Now at the SCR, Deputy has learned that following instructions will be rewarded – yet still, he finds more satisfaction (and humor) in attempting to get out of work as often as possible or put forth as little effort as possible. It is almost as if he is entertaining himself.


Thoroughbred, Gelding
Born 2005 - arrived at SCR 2011

“Imp” fears rejection and failure. He responds eagerly to positive reinforcement but responds immediately if he perceives that his handler is frustrated. When frightened, this horse simply shuts down and freezes up. He will not respond to repetitive commands. You have to change the subject and re-approach.



Thoroughbred, Mare
Born 2003 - arrived at SCR 2008

Squeak suffers from severe uncertainty. This mare was a lesson horse, a teacher and lover of children. She had an unfortunate experience with a bad trainer for just a few months. It was traumatic enough to change her completely, both physically and mentally. This is perfect example of how quickly an animal (equine or human) can sour and lose trust, confidence and self-esteem.

Also an example of how defensive an animal becomes when confronted with a leader who is inconsistent and abusive in their communication. Physically she is rehabilitated, and we are now in the process of bringing back the old behavior and responsiveness to human interaction.


Thoroughbred, Mare
born 1999 - arrived at SCR 2016

Persi came from a famous pedigree, and before coming to SCR, she raised 6 babies. Something about a broodmare that is special – not much gets by them! Persi is so willing to both teach and learn.


Thoroughbred, Gelding
Born 2009 - arrived at SCR 2012

Topper is a gelding that had an injury to the temple area which resulted in paralysis of the left side of his face. He is fully functional but has had to be extra assertive in the herd environment. He has had limited training, which makes him more of a clean slate for someone who wants to work with a green horse.


Thoroughbred, Gelding
Born 2006 - arrived at SCR 2008

Slick was just 14 months old when he came to the farm. As a yearling, he had a pasture accident, playing with another colt. He has a physical condition that prohibits him from ever being ridden, however, he is not in any discomfort. He has a soft, intuitive personality and is very sensitive. The opposite of Rio, mentioned above, this horse finds his confidence through your leadership.


Warmblood / TB, Gelding
Born 1994 - arrived at SCR 2017

Beachball was an accomplished jumper and schoolmaster, teaching kids to take horses over jumps.  It takes a special personality and skill for a horse to actually be a teacher.  He loved his job, but it was time for semi-retirement. We are honored that his owner and trainer put this magnificent, sweet, smart horse in our care.  Beachball has personality plus and loves to entertain people.



AQHA (Quarter Horse), Gelding
Born 2006 - arrived at SCR 2016

He is not ridable because of an arthritic condition in his feet, however, with proper hoof care he is pain free and able to demonstrate his love and appreciation of people… and treats.  Oh, Buddy really likes  his treats!  He is very interested in learning new things and enjoys the company of people more than horses.

bankerweb 1.jpg


Thoroughbred, Gelding
Born 2002 - arrived at SCR 2009

Banker needs constant mental stimulation. Easily bored, he’s intelligent, extremely observant and a quick learner. You have to think quickly and stay focused.



Thoroughbred, Mare
Born 2008 - arrived at SCR 2018

Belle of the ball, she is!  This sweet girl never raced, but lived at the property she was born on until her family had to move to the city. She was so well cared for and loved her entire life – she has a beautiful way of connecting with people, and in particular, children.



Thoroughbred, Gelding
Born 2001 - arrived at SCR 2007

This beautiful redhead was the winner of the 2005 Longacre Mile and made headlines – came from 20 lengths behind to win. Biggest payout ever, at 60:1 odds. This guy is a character!  A sense of humor that doesn’t stop. You can even see it in his walk – always has a little jaunt in his step. He knows he’s special!


Thoroughbred, Gelding
Born 2002 -  arrived at SCR 2013

Winner of the 2007 Chinook Pass Sprint at Emerald Downs. At 10 years old he held the record for most all-time wins in Washington racing. He was forced to retire due to age, but if it were up to him, he would have continued.  Chickasaw loved his job.  He is still trying to figure out “retirement”, but enjoys the company of people.



Thoroughbred, Gelding
Born 2000 - arrived at SCR 2016

This beautiful boy is well known in the Washington racing industry. He won or placed in 22 races and earned over $205,000. Makah has not been fully evaluated, however, we know that he has had excellent care and training. After retiring from racing he became a riding horse and although he is in good physical health, Makah just doesn’t want to be ridden any longer.  He is also a horse who would rather hang out with people than other horses! I think he has found his perfect job. 

PO Box 19602 Spokane, Washington 99219




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