The Five Roles of a Master Herder

The Five Roles of a Master Herder

A Revolutionary Model for Socially Intelligent Leadership

New World Library, 2016 more...

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Best-selling author Linda Kohanov, the founder of Eponaquest Worldwide, offers a “socially intelligent” leadership model she meticulously developed through in-depth academic research, ethnographic study and practical experience, including being an experienced equestrian. She adapts the wisdom of ancient nomadic “Master Herders” into a functional leadership framework. Her equine-based approach emphasizes balancing five essential roles seen in the behavior of herd animals: “Dominant, Leader, Sentinel, Nurturer/Companion and Predator.” Kohanov’s leadership philosophy incorporates respect for all beings in the actual and metaphorical food chain. Whether your herd is a business, a family, or a religious, charitable, political or governmental organization, getAbstract recommends Kohanov’s innovative yet ageless approach to leadership.


Welcome Indigo Moon

Rasa, a black horse, is in labor. By her side, Linda Kohanov, her human companion, encourages Rasa to lie down. The foal is emerging before Rasa’s water breaks and it may drown in amniotic fluid. Kohanov punctures the sac as the ranch manager, Shelley Rosenberg, arrives. The tiny colt enters the world and stands on shaky legs. Rasa cannot get up. If she doesn’t stand, she’ll suffocate from pressure on her lungs. Kohanov leads the foal, Indigo Moon, to his mama to inspire Rasa to stand, to no avail. Kohanov and Rosenberg pull, push, insist and demand that the exhausted mare take to her feet and, finally, she stands and nurses her newborn.

Assisting Rasa, Rosenberg and Kohanov performed four of the five roles of a “Master Herder” and steeled themselves in case they had to assume the fifth and hardest role. Master Herders in nomadic cultures developed five leadership strengths to protect and care for their herds as they traveled. These five roles are “Dominant, Leader, Nurturer/Companion, Sentinel and Predator.” Kohanov and Rosenberg became Sentinels as they watched over the pregnant mare and prepared for the birth. Kohanov’s close relationship with...

About the Author

Psychotherapist Linda Kohanov, who practices equine-facilitated therapy, founded Eponaquest Worldwide and wrote the bestseller The Tao of Equus, as well as Riding Between the Worlds, The Power of the Herd and The Way of the Horse (with artist Kim McElroy).

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