Jacqueline Hartman: Equine Empathizer

First Person: A conversation with Jacqueline Hartman, Co-founder and Chief Facilitator, Stanford Red Barn Leadership Program, Stanford University

by Lisa Van Dusen / Palo Alto Weekly

Jacqueline Hartman, Co-founder and Chief Facilitator of the Stanford Red Barn Leadership Program at Stanford University talks with Lisa Van Dusen about how horses can illuminate the truth and ultimately, the best in people.

Even though there’s no riding going on at the Red Barn Leadership Program, there’s lots of action. That action might include encouraging a horse to walk around the ring in particular direction or engaging in an emotional exchange with a horse that might intimidate the human involved.. Jacqueline and her team of facilitators bring together groups ranging from Fortune 500 executives to patients suffering from early stage and early onset dementia with their caregivers and loved ones. Hartman also works with a variety of students from Gunn and Palo Alto High Schools, as well as Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, among others. 

Jacqueline grew up on a ranch in the Santa Cruz mountains, surrounded by horses and spent as much time ballet dancing as riding horses. As a leadership coach, her work was inside - literally and figuratively. She worked in offices and encouraged leaders to “go inside themselves” to grow and thrive in their roles. Now, though her “office” is outside in horse rings, her focus is still the inner workings of leaders of all stripes.

Jacqueline believes in the power of relationships and communicating through allsenses--that power was in evidence during even a short visit to the Stanford Red Barn. Just listen to and observe the horses during the conversation.

Host/interview, Lisa Van Dusen,

Video, Veronica Weber

Production Manager, Lavanya Mahadevan 

This conversation took place on May 18, 2016 at the Stanford Red Barn at Stanford University.