Want something done? 

Tell a gelding. Ask a stallion. Discuss it with a mare.


Is leadership different for men and women? In herds of horses stallions and mares are vital to the herds survival. What does it mean to lead like a mare?

Leadership Mare Style

The lead mare of a herd is keenly alert to changes in her environment. In the wild the life of the herd depends on the lead mare. When she whinnies the herd listens. Where she goes the herd follows. She finds food and water, she leads them away from danger. As a partner, the lead mare is responsive and lets her needs be known. She can be subtle, or she can be forthright. She cares little to be the center of attention but doesn’t shrink away from it should it occur. The lead mare sees and inspects the subtlest changes. She demands respect and refuses cruelty. She fights back if needed. She is slow to trust, and long remembers a wrong done to her. She holds a grudge if the betrayal is too large.

Leadership Versatility

If the herd stallion falters, and the herd becomes trapped some lead mares will protect the herd as the stallion typically does. Her first call is always the preservation of her herd, her sisters, her foal, and she works in concert with the stallion to ensure its safety. Make no mistake the stallion respects his lead mare. She sets limits, he respects her “no,” and checks out her fears. He listens to her intuition so where she goes he follows, after all it is his herd also, to look after and protect.

Leadership Sensitivity

Mares are incredibly sensitive. Not particularly loving, but fiercely protective of their young. Mares speak clearly, and if you don’t listen there will be a consequence, so pay attention to their signals. Taking a mare from her herd is interesting. She will be fine until she hears her herd calling her in distress, the stallion or foal concerned for her will create agitation for her. For a mare to lead there must be a herd to follow her.

Leadership Reflection

Who’s your herd? How are you leading? Where are you going? Who is following you? Where are you leading them? Is your energy that of a stallion or mare? Are you pushing when you might need to pull your herd? Are you leading, and no one is following you? Let’s talk!

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