Straight from the horse whisperer’s mouth, this new book by the owner of the historic Diamond Cross Ranch offers “lessons in life, leadership, and empathy from an unconventional cowboy.”
With his brand-new book, Think Like a Horse, renowned horse trainer, cowboy, author, and owner of Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s famous Diamond Cross Ranch, Grant Golliher has authored both a how-to for horse lovers and a guide to thoughtful professional and personal leadership for anyone, no matter if you’ve never saddled up.
The book, released May 31 from Putnam’s Sons, shares stories from Golliher’s life and his work helping both horses and people throughout its 12 chapters.
You’ll learn that as a young boy with a rough childhood, Golliher was naturally inclined to train his father’s mules with childlike kindness and understanding, but he had shifted away from that inclination as an adult horse trainer and professional polo player.
It wasn’t until Golliher learned the techniques of natural horsemanship from famous horse whisperers like Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance that he realized there was a better way. Training a horse didn’t have to involve pain, fear, or force, Golliher discovered.
After successfully applying this quieter, gentler technique of understanding and communication to hundreds of horses, Golliher started to see it was having an effect on people outside of the round pen, too.
“Horses have an extraordinary ability to reveal people to themselves,” Golliher writes. This will come as no surprise to horse owners who know their steeds have a sixth sense. Reading body language and emotion, horses seem to know what you’re thinking, probably even before you think it. It’s no doubt they’re powerful healers for us humans.
Golliher began to notice people around him taking a hard look at themselves and their own styles of communication and leadership after watching him work with troubled equines.
He saw that having grace and patience to help a horse reach its highest potential and overcome the scars of its past was a philosophy that could be applied effectively to humans.
So began Golliher’s journey as more than a horse trainer.
He now teaches CEOs, managers, and other business leaders how to better communicate with their teams, companies, and even their own families. He’s worked with convicts trying to overcome their past and military veterans suffering from PTSD.
“The truth is, it’s the horses who do the teaching. I just try to translate,” Golliher says in the book.
Think Like a Horse shares plenty of gems for navigating life. Its pages are filled with wise words spoken with a cowboy’s inviting drawl.
Transformative Takeaways: How Horse Sense Applies To Leadership
You’ll read about how setting boundaries with a rude horse is the same as setting boundaries with people, and why those limits are needed to preserve the friendship. Parents will recognize Golliher’s approach to keeping his horses in line as insightful for raising their own wild and occasionally unruly children. Employers can incorporate Golliher’s emphasis on giving a horse freedom and autonomy to create true partnerships with employees.
Golliher expertly weaves these ideas and many more with old cowboy sayings from an empathetic perspective, sharing stories of people he's met, including former employees who struggled with addiction and even homelessness, who’ve been helped by working on the ranch with the Golliher family and their horses.
As the publisher astutely observes, it’s his hard-won horse sense that has given Golliher a unique ability to teach invaluable lessons that anyone can use to live a fuller, more successful life.
Sometimes you’ll laugh, sometimes you’ll tear up. You’ll always find yourself not wanting to miss a word of Golliher’s wisdom.
Reading the book, I started thinking about how to better communicate with my own horses. I love them, but we don’t always see eye to eye—kind of like with some humans in our lives.
By the end, I was also thinking about relationships with coworkers and even family members and all of those dynamics that could benefit from Golliher’s insights. Most important, I was thinking, which is no doubt the goal of Think Like a Horse.
Get the book: Think Like a Horse: Lessons in Life, Leadership, and Empathy From an Unconventional Cowboy. Also available on Amazon and at all major bookstores.