10 Leadership Secrets Whispered by Horses

10 Leadership Secrets Whispered by Horses

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Shag-Ra, The Lip-Synching Horse

This is a heart-warming story about how a woman and a horse saved each other.

Take a few minutes to watch.

If you have read my essays before, can you guess which statement that Phyllis made that I didn't like?


Here is Phyllis on "To Tell the Truth"



8 comments to Shag-Ra, The Lip-Synching Horse

  • The statement you made “can you guess which statement that Phyllis made that I didn’t like” has been brought to my attention by many people, I am unfamiliar with your essays and expertise on horses and was curious on what statement i made that you didnt like. I was speaking from the heart and didnt mean to offend any one, our story was not about horse and rider, it was about the love between Shag-Ra and Phyllis

    thank you for taking the time to watch our videos and I look forward to your reply

  • Jay Koch


    Thank you so much for sending me a note. I love your story with Shag-Ra, otherwise I would not have shared it.

    I have actually come to regret my statement about being disappointed in something you said. It was unfair. I am glad that I get to apologize to you personally.

    In my e-book and other previous posts, I talk about how people accept mediocrity with their horsemanship. If wrote several articles about a comedy skit by French and Saunders (http://thebesthorsesense.com/2009/04/10/comedic-leadership-lessons/) in which the characters don’t try to improve themselves or their relationship with their horses. This issue is important to me because I am constantly struggling myself to strive for excellence and not accept mediocrity, not only with my horsemanship, but in everything I do. I am by nature a laid-back, “whatever” kind of guy and I don’t always push myself to be the best I can be.

    So, when you said that Shag-Ra bucked you off and you didn’t try to ride again, my first reaction was, “She shouldn’t accept that. She should work with that horse until she can ride.” However, like I said, I think that thought was totally unfair, and another reader pointed that out to me.

    The relationship you have with Shag-Ra is nothing short of amazing. The two of you saved each other. You have come a long way, and I am in no position to judge your progress. It’s obvious that you spent a lot of time training him because it is not easy to teach him what you have taught him. With such a strong bond between you, it is not up to me to decide whether you should ride or not. Your relationship as it is is enough.

    Your story is wonderful, and I am happy to have shared. I am sorry that I marred it with a less than complimentary remark. You don’t deserve that.


  • phyllis olson

    Dear jay
    you are totally right about getting back on the horse if by chance you are bucked off, Shag-Ra was proffesionally trained for showing in pleasure classes by Len Cooke in Okanogan Falls, as len once commented he could win the hardest pleasure class anywhere, “if he wanted to” we tried for years, he just couldnt see any sense in going in circles, “smile” I hurt myself at work and wasnt able to ride much anymore so i spent most of my time on the ground loving him thats when all of his talents started to show, he just didnt think he was a horse and he had no intention of being one! after that i only rode him with a side pull and bareback he just felt good, let her rip and i fell off, i said thats it and started lunging him instead, in the video on the road again it shows me riding Shag-Ra bareback in my back yard, I just about fell off again (ha ha) he was a hard horse to ride. all the years i tried i never did get to become a good rider. The On the road again video is on you tube phyllis1221 please watch it and you will understand more of what i mean. we tried to be horse and rider for years but it didnt work. glad it didnt because we would never have had the relationship that we had.
    Thank you for your apology, but as horse and rider goes you were absolutly right

  • Dear Jay and Phyllis,

    I have just recently been introduced to Phillis and Shag-Ra’s videos and after reading these comments I would like to also comment. For me what matters is the relationship with a horse. Throughout history because the horse CAN be ridden, that is where the focus has always been in having a relationship with a horse. But isn’t it magnificent that Phillis realized her limitations, and listened to Shag-Ra, and as she said discovered his true personality when they weren’t following the norm. Bravo Phillis and Shag-ra for showing us how powerful love and connection and communication can be – from the GROUND!

    I am part of a powerful new documentary that might interest both of you “The Path of the Horse” by Stormy May available at http://www.stormymay.com where you can see a trailer. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

    Kim McElroy

  • Bergy

    Phyllis what has happened to you after the sad loss of Shag -ra. I loved watching you with Shag-ra right here in Salmon Arm and felt your loss when you lost him. It was a unique nd wonderful bond you had but my thoughts go out to you too – Cheers Bergy

  • Bergy

    Phyllis where are you now – are you okay?. I loved watching you with Shag-ra right here in Salmon Arm and felt your loss when you lost him. He was a unique and wonderful bond you had but my thoughts go out to you too – Cheers Bergy

  • Sharon

    This note is for Phyllis. I would love to communicate with you one-on-one. I have watched the You Tube performances – ALL OF THEM! That an amazing story you have.

  • Tara Fischer

    hi philis i have an arab alot like shagra his name is spirit n he makes me laugh everyday  god bless us with such wonderful animals  i bet hes still singing  id like to share my story n chat  tarafreespirit@aol.com

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