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   Key Leadership Program


      Welcome to Our Key Leadership Program 

It's boots on the ground and hands-on the horses for our Key Leadership Team!

Parents and kids don't always know where to go or how to get started discovering and building on their innate leadership traits. So, we created an effective and enriching program to help youth build a solid foundation in leadership through real-life practices delivering our horsemanship services. Our program teaches skills such as self-governance, self-control, influencing others, and building community in a safe, professional, and inclusive environment.


Basic Technical Information

Age: 11+

Experience Level

Has participated in a minimum of 1 month of riding horsemanship lessons at Clip Clop.


Has the support and endorsement of the program manager and parents.

Levels of Progressive Key Leadership



Jr. LA

Sr. LA

Shift Lead

Jr. Instructor

Building a Foundation Together

Our Key Leadership Program, or the 'Clip Clop Crew,' comprises of 60+ youth horsemen in 6 different age and level categories. They collaborate to create a supportive community of riders who build their foundation in horsemanship and leadership and help others build theirs. They learn the skills by  supporting the overall delivery of the LTR 1, LTR 2, and LTR 3 levels of the program while promoting a culture of support, safety, and belonging.

There is Nothing More Priceless then Your Child's Self-Worth

Interacting with horses can provide a unique and effective approach to address the concerns and desires parents have regarding their child's development, including those related to leadership skills, self-confidence, independence, emotional intelligence, creativity, and socialization.


Here are some examples:

Developing leadership skills:

Interacting with horses allows children to learn leadership skills through working with them. Horses have a natural herd hierarchy, which provides children with opportunities to learn how to communicate effectively, establish trust and respect, and lead the horse through various activities. These skills can then be transferred to other areas of their life.

Building self-confidence:

Horses are highly sensitive to the emotions and body language of the people around them. Interacting with horses can help children learn how to regulate their emotions and body language to gain the horse's trust and cooperation. As they develop these skills, children can become more confident in their abilities to interact with the horse and feel more self-assured in other areas of their life.

Fostering independence:

Interacting with horses allows children to take responsibility for their actions and develop a sense of independence. They learn how to groom, tack up, and lead the horse on their own, which requires them to problem-solve and make decisions as they work with the horse.

Developing emotional intelligence:

Horses can mirror the emotions and behaviors of the people around them, which provides children with immediate feedback on their emotional state. Interacting with horses can help children learn how to recognize and regulate their emotions and develop empathy for the horse's needs.

Nurturing creativity: Horses provide a unique and dynamic environment that can inspire children's creativity. Interacting with horses allows children to come up with innovative solutions to the challenges they face while working with the horse. They can also develop their own style and approach to working with the horse, which encourages creative thinking.

Encouraging socialization: Interacting with horses allows children to work with the horse in a group setting and learn how to work collaboratively with their peers. They also have opportunities to develop new friendships with other children who share their interest in horses, which can encourage socialization.

The 1000 pound, Furry Solution to Your Child's Leadership Development

It's amazing how a small child can build a relationship with a 1000-pound horse through developing leadership skills, self-awareness, and practice. This process requires trust and respect, built over time through consistent interactions and positive reinforcement.

By developing skills like communication, problem-solving, and decision-making, children learn to effectively communicate with the horse. They also learn to recognize and regulate their own emotions in response to the horse's behaviors. Through practice, children gain confidence, which leads to a deeper connection with the horse.

This process is empowering for children, showing that they can influence their environment, even with a much larger animal like a horse. It builds self-confidence and self-esteem, as children trust their abilities and judgment.

Overall, a child's ability to lead and communicate with a 1000-pound horse is a testament to the importance of early leadership skill development and the power of relationship-building. It's an inspiring example of how children can overcome challenges and achieve incredible things through practice, perseverance, and positivity.

Learn and Lead Others

Learning leadership skills through interacting with horses is already a powerful experience for children. However, taking on a learning assistant role at Clip Clop can magnify and intensify the adoption of leadership traits, while also helping others build their own leadership skills.

Being a leader is one thing, but practicing those skills while leading real live horses and humans who are also building their foundation is a powerful experience. It provides an opportunity for children to put their skills into practice in a real-world setting, while also mentoring and supporting others.

Through this experience, children can solidify their own leadership skills while also helping others build theirs. This can lead to a deeper understanding of leadership and its role in creating positive change in the world for horses and humans.

Overall, learning leadership through horsemanship is a powerful experience in and of itself. However, taking on a learning assistant role at Clip Clop can further enhance this experience and provide children with a meaningful way to practice their leadership skills while also making a positive impact on others.

Earn While You Learn

Through the LA leadership role at Clip Clop, Riders "earn while they learn" by entering into a fair exchange for their efforts. The Riders earn discounts towards their riding lesson fees based on the number of shifts they complete in the Riding Lessons and Summer Camps.

This system deepens the value of becoming a leader by teaching them the importance of investing in themselves. By being remunerated for their efforts, Riders gain an understanding of their innate value and worth, which boosts their self-esteem and confidence. They also learn about the two-way street of service and remuneration, and the importance and accountability of showing up and giving their best effort.

The pride and self-empowerment that comes from a fair exchange of giving and receiving is remarkable. As Riders take on responsibility and invest in their own education, they develop a sense of ownership and pride in their accomplishments.

Understanding the Mystical Relationship Between Bulls & Horses: Learning How Not to Bully

We want to clarify that while our program is primarily focused on horsemanship and leadership, we are aware of the issue of bullying and its impact on our youth.

As an ambassador and guide for youth, Clip Clop is committed to addressing the issue of bullying prevalent in our society. Both "bullying" and "getting bullied" are equally awful experiences that can have disastrous ends if not resolved. But, interactions with horses can contribute to the resolution of the bully situation in our youth without the rider even knowing it's happening.

Our Clip Clop Crew bring to us story after story about bully situations they created, endured or witnessed and seek ways to govern & extricate themselves and provide solutions regarding the bully issues.

Clip Clop is compelled to explain how interactions with horses, guided the right way, can contribute to the resolution of the bully situation in our youth. 

The Bull and the Horse

It's true that there is a mystical relationship between bulls and horses. Horses and bulls have a long history of working together, but it's not always easy. Bulls are rather lazy, often resistant and quick to respond with aggression, including very threatening posturing such as horn swinging, dirt throwing, snot flinging, and charging at the horse with horns aimed straight at their hearts. While these behaviors may scare a human clean out of their minds, and rightfully so because they can be catastrophically dangerous, a well-led horse knows how to navigate the situation and respond appropriately without getting itself and it's rider seriously injured or killed.


Bulls are natural bullies, and they often try to dominate other animals, including humans, in their environment.


Horses, on the other hand, are naturally passive and have an innate grace and strength that makes them resistant to bullying. When bulls try to bully horses, the horses respond with appropriate maneuvers that show the bull that bullying is not necessary to get along.

Powerful Lesson

This relationship between bulls and horses provides a powerful lesson for children about the importance of standing up to bullies. Horses show us that we can resist bullying without resorting to negative behaviors ourselves. By developing self-awareness, self-confidence, and assertiveness, we can become like horses and stand up for ourselves (addressed below) and others in a way that is strong, graceful, and respectful.

Interacting with horses is a unique and effective way for children to learn about leadership, respect, but also about anti-bullying. Through their interactions with these majestic animals, children can learn valuable life lessons about the importance of treating others with kindness and respect, and the consequences of negative behaviors. Horses teach the difference between aggressive and assertive behaviors.

Horses have a natural hierarchy in the herd and human/horse social structure that does not tolerate bullying behavior which interestingly enough, includes at equal degrees of them (the horse) not being allowed to bully a rider, and they provide instant feedback to the riders who may be struggling with assertiveness.

It absolutely disorients a horse when a rider, who is higher on the natural food chain, tries to be a follower to a horse. In the natural order of things a horse is considered a prey animal to a human who is considered a predator. 

Not only do horses call out bullying behavior from their riders, but they also challenge riders who may be too submissive or passive. Horses need to know that their riders can keep them safe and make good decisions for them (especially in a human environment), and they constantly test their riders to see if they are fit to be their leader. This means that riders who tend to get bullied themselves are also given the opportunity to come out of their shell and stand up for themselves in the right amounts and in appropriate ways, to stop others from bullying.

The "are you fit to be my leader" test/question that horses ask over and over requires riders to develop self-awareness, self-confidence, and assertiveness. These are essential qualities for leadership and personal growth, and they can help riders to overcome their fear of being bullied and to stand up for themselves and others in all areas of their life.

No Shame or Blame - the Horses have it Handled

Clip Clop is committed to addressing bullying in youth through interactions with horses. The horses take care of the issue without any need for human leaders to explicitly discuss it with the riders. It's not about landing blame or shame on the "bullied" or the "bullier" but about personal leadership and self-worth: the horses have this handled.

Interacting with horses with the right guidance through our Key Leadership Program is a powerful and enriching experience that can have a lasting impact on the lives of those who participate, and a testament to the transformative power of horses and horsemanship on our youth.

Clip Clop Crew Community

The Clip Clop Leadership program is more than just a leadership program - it's a way to build a community of leaders who share a passion for horsemanship, personal growth, and animal welfare.

By approaching the horse with the right mindset and leadership qualities, Riders in the program are making a positive impact on the lives of horses through Clip Clop that affect horses everywhere.

Through this community, Riders deepen the connection to the Clip Clop community and the horses who call it home. The program creates a sense of solidarity among Riders by tying together the Riding Lessons, Summer Camps, and Leadership components into one cohesive experience.

The Riders who participate in the Leadership program serve as mentors and role models for other Riders, creating a positive and supportive environment where everyone can learn and grow together.


They also set an example for others by demonstrating the importance of treating horses with respect, care, and kindness.

Ultimately, the Clip Clop Leadership program is about building a community of leaders who are passionate about horsemanship, personal growth, and animal welfare. It's a powerful and enriching experience that can have a lasting impact on the lives of those who participate, and on the lives of the horses who benefit from the positive leadership and care of the Clip Clop community.

Join Our Key Leadership Program

Interacting with horses and fellow leaders through the LA leadership role at Clip Clop is a unique and rewarding opportunity for Riders to develop leadership skills, mentor others, and invest in their own education.

This program is organized, disciplined, and has high expectations that these select youth leaders exceed daily. 

1, 2, 3 to be a Key

Step 1: Email or Call and let us know you are interested.

Step 2: We will send you a detailed technical information package.

Step 3: Register with our office and get started!

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             For More Information About Our Key Leadership Program -

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Call Sally 587-892-6100

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