If you’ve ever wanted to be a better leader, or socially more intelligent, then do we have The Five Roles of a Master Herder show for you!

Today I’ll be talking with leadership and social intelligence expert Linda Kohanov, Author of The Power of the Heart, and the Tao of Equis, about a brilliant new read that blew me away, The Five Roles of a Master Herder: A Revolutionary Model for Socially Intelligent Leadership.

And that’s just what I want to talk with her about today, about horse-inspired insights to work with others and lead the way.






Linda Kohanov is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and educator who specializes in developing and teaching socially intelligent leadership, nonverbal communication, and other advanced human development skills. In 1997, she founded an Arizona-based collective of educators, coaches, counselors, and horse professionals exploring the power and potential of the horse-human bond. The organization has grown to serve clients on six continents.

Her first bestselling book The Tao of Equus was selected as one of the top books of 2001 by and received appreciative reviews in diverse publications. This title, and her subsequent four books, have been translated into French, German, Dutch, and Czech, and are used as texts at universities.
In 2013, Linda’s fourth book The Power of the Herd: A Nonpredatory Approach to Social Intelligence, Leadership and Innovation explored what horses have to teach us about leadership and social intelligence, with extensive historical and scientific research showing why the world’s most innovative and effective leaders, from Alexander the Great to the Buddha to George Washington and Winston Churchill, were exceptional horsemen who honed the nonverbal skills associated with leadership presence on horseback. The book also translates the practical skills horses teach directly to use at work, school, home, and in religious, political and social activism contexts. Linda’s fifth book The Five Roles of a Masterful Leader, was published in June 2016, and is already being translated into multiple languages.

Over the last decade, Linda has appeared at numerous conferences, universities and retreat centers, including the Organization Development Conference, the Omega Institute in New York, Naropa University in Boulder, CO, the University of Arizona, Prescott College, the International Transpersonal Conference, Hollyhock British Columbia, and the 2008 Equine Guided Education Conference, among many other venues. She has been a leadership trainer for major players in the aerospace industry since 2007, and has also led trainings for executive teams at Nike, Chubb Insurance, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and the Bensman Group of financial advisors, among other companies.

In 2014, she led a master class on the Five Roles of a Master Herder in Paris at the Executive MBA Program “Leading Innovation in a Digital World” de l’Institut Mines-Telecom. Didier Tranchier, head of this international program, wrote that this presentation “changed my life and the life of everyone in the conference room. Explaining the differences between a dominant and a leader, and the usefulness of predatory power when balanced with nonpredatory power were real insights to understand how companies are working and how we can improve our efficiency. With very simple words and great examples coming from the world of horses and traditional herding cultures, Linda explained the power of groups and how to build relationships that can enable any individual to steer and leverage large and powerful organizations.”

Linda is considered one of the founders of the field of Equine-Facilitated Human Development, which teachers people how to excel in life by practicing innovative leadership, relationship, nonverbal communication, and emotional and social intelligence skills through safe, engaging, non-riding activities with horses. She has also collaborated with a number of psychologists in the field of Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy.

Her seminars attract business leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, scientists, mental health professionals, artists, clergy, and social activists from six continents. Since 1997, Linda has trained thousands of people from around the world. The demand for seminars became so great that, starting in 2002, she began training instructors capable of leading their own seminars in the Eponaquest Approach and the Master Herder model. Nearly 300 Eponaquest Instructors from six continents have graduated from this highly successful, in-depth apprenticeship program. Those who’ve done advanced training in the Five Roles of a Master Herder model are featured as recommended instructors on the website.


Linda Kohanov Online: Website| Facebook

Key Topics:

  • Did Linda Kohanov grow up with horses?
  • How did she go from radio programming to working with horses?
  • Who was Nakia and what did she learn from riding her?
  • What did she learn about being congruent from horses?
  • What did scary stallions teach her?
  • What’s it mean to be honest to your emotions?
  • How did she lose the ability to lie?
  • What does oxytocin have to do with animal behavior?
  • Why was Darwin’s theory wrong, or at least incomplete?
  • What is mutual aid?
  • What happened with her horse Tabula Rasa when confronted with a herd of cows?
  • What’s wrong with thinking of humans as predators?
  • What can we learn from nomadic pastoral cultures?
  • How did things change in her life once she started helping horses give birth and living as a herd?
  • What are the five roles to become a master herder and where did they come from?
  • What’s a true leader?
  • What’s a dominant?
  • How do we handle the power of a dominant?
  • What does it mean not to take a dominant’s games personally?
  • What are power principles?
  • What’s the role of a nurterer/companion?
  • How do we handle the dark side of a nurturer?
  • What can we learn from horses sleeping standing up?
  • What does mindfulness have to do with social intelligence?
  • What’s our inner lion?
  • What do we do if we’re in an intensely predatory situation?
  • To find out more visit:

Related Podcasts:

INSPIRE #317: What Animals Think & Feel and What We Can Learn from Them! (Carl Safina, PhD, “Beyond Words”)

INSPIRE #254: How Animals Inspire, Heal & Transform Our Lives! (Dr. Bernie Siegel – Love, Animals & Miracles)


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