Leadership from horsemanship: Cavalry Troop keeps legacy alive, page three: Norwich University emagazine

“You have to learn to talk to them in a different way,” she said. “They not only gain your trust, but you gain their trust as well.”

“There are some great leadership lessons to be learned from working with horses,” said Keith McCusker, interactive recruitment manager at Norwich, staff advisor to the troop and former company commander. “The paradox of being in control, and at the same time working with something or someone instead of making it work for you, is an important part
of leadership.”

Norwich cavalry members are trained by Judi Whipple, or “General Judi,” who owns the farm with her husband. She has been teaching since 1975, and was recently named one of the top 50 instructors in the nation by the American Riding Instructors Association. “Judi has helped to transform the troop,” said McCusker. “Her teaching methods work really well with the Cadets. She mixes it up and keeps it interesting.”

Through longeing and other techniques, Whipple shows new students how their body, balance and position affect their work with the animal. Whipple watches each student, assessing their readiness to ride. “Horses are excellent nonverbal communicators,” Whipple said, “and you can’t achieve success with them without balance, confidence and control.” continue

Bonnie Jo Lange, Cavalry Troop’s barn sergeant, works with a horse.

Bonnie Jo Lange, Cavalry Troop’s barn sergeant, works with a horse.