The Horse Institute Announces Crowdfunding to Raise $5,000 for Research on How Horses Teach Humans Leadership

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Study will explore how guided interaction with horses can develop emotional intelligence in humans. The study is a collaboration between the University of Kentucky and The Horse Institute (

"We will match individual donations dollar for dollar, up to $2,500, for research by the University of Kentucky on using horses to teach emotional intelligence," says Stockl from The Horse Institute.

The Horse Institute has committed to match individual donations, dollar for dollar up to a total of $2,500, to assist the University of Kentucky’s (UK) fundraising efforts. Proceeds will directly support research on the effectiveness of working with horses to teach emotional intelligence and leadership competencies to nurse leaders. UK HealthCare has committed over $40,000 towards this project.

The research project begins in March and ends in October 2014. The Horse Institute will match contributions dollar for dollar until April 30. One can make tax deductible contribution by logging on to The Center for Leadership Development’s website at All contributions will be used solely for the purpose of research in Equine Guided Leadership Education.

“Every dollar counts, and donations of even $10, $20 or more, are important,” says Marie-Claude Stockl, Executive Director of The Horse Institute. “Each contribution goes twice as far when we match it with our own donation.”

This larger study exploring how horses teach emotional intelligence comes on the heels of a promising pilot research project with UK’s Center for Leadership Development, first reported in 2013.

This year’s study will compare the before and after emotional intelligence scores of both a control group and experimental group of nurse managers and their directors. It will measure competency in the areas that create effective leaders, such as: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.

The basic premise of goal-oriented activities with horses is that how we interact with horses is an indication of how we interact at work. Horses provide honest feedback on behavior in the moment, and therefore prompt insights that can be applied both in professional and personal lives.

Since 2005, The Horse Institute has been a pioneer in equine-assisted learning for business and academia. Bayer Health Care, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Natixis, Merck & Co, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Wharton Executive Education at the University of Pennsylvania, are among the organizations whose staff members have benefitted directly from The Horse Institute’s groundbreaking program.

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Marie-Claude Stockl
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