Razelle Janice Drescher, owner of Intentional Leaders, offers individual and team-building programs with horses, such as 22-year-old thoroughbred mare Ginni. (Contributed)

As someone who has held management and leadership positions for most of my career, I was intrigued to learn more about how working with horses can improve leadership skills in the workplace. I had the opportunity to meet Razelle Janice Drescher, owner of Intentional Leaders, an executive business coach who offers individual and team-building programs with horses. 

I was fortunate to experience an individual session firsthand at Deerhorn Ranch in Felton with a beautiful 22-year-old thoroughbred mare named Ginger Snap, “Ginni” for short.

My experience with Ginni

Before working with Ginni, I was given instructions and information to set up my experience with Ginni. I found Razelle to be highly knowledgeable and informative about what to expect and how this relates to self-leadership and leadership with others. At one point during the session with Ginni, I lost my focus and at the same time, her attention on what we were doing together.

Through Razelle’s suggestions and guidance, I came to understand why Ginni reacted the way she did. Ginni accurately mirrored my emotions and behaviors, providing valuable insight and demonstrating how horses can teach us. 

What horses teach us

Razelle states, “The big opportunity of working with horses is that you learn valuable skills that help you to navigate life and work safely. In today’s current times, our well-being is essential. Horses can sense danger before they can see it or hear it. They are prey animals and depend on their sensing for survival. Therefore, leadership is the glue that keeps them together and teaches us about solid leadership. Their physiology can shift from flight to calm very quickly. We benefit by learning how to do that.”

Through the experience

Before working with Ginni, I learned that communicating with horses goes beyond words. It is not about what we say or think, but rather our intentions transmitted from our core or gut. “Horses in a state of coherence, where their brain waves are in sync with their heart rhythm, and they can sense our intentions.” This understanding and practice of intention and coherence make sense; they help us become more effective leaders.

In connecting with Ginni, Razelle further explained it is important to understand that “what we say to the horse is not our voice or our thoughts, although thought do begin in the mind, but it is  our intention that needs to be to be communicated vibrationally, from our instinctive center, aka our gut.” I later realized why I lost focus. It related to my fear about thinking I needed to “get” her to follow me. Overall, we had a wonderful connection and it made me smile inside.

If you are interested in experiencing this transformative leadership program for yourself or your team, now is the perfect time. You can contact Razelle at 408-884-8861 or [email protected]. The horses are considered facilitators of this work and are at liberty without equipment. (No riding.)

My takeaway from working with Ginni and Razelle is that leadership is an invitation to follow rather than to lead with agendas and control. Thank you, Ginni and Razelle!

Janet Janssen is a business coach and public speaker, offering work-life balance, supervision and leadership skills programs. Contact her at [email protected] or visit janetjanssen.com.

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Janet Janssen is a Life in Business and Speaking Coach, Leadership Santa Cruz County board member, local Chamber member and Distinguished speaker with Toastmasters International. She provides individual and team-building workshops in leadership and public speaking. Currently, she is a volunteer coach for April’s TEDx Santa Cruz. Contact her at janetjanssen.com.


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