“Slow to Take, Quick to Give”


Evening at Diamond Cross Ranch.


The title is, in a nutshell, how Grant Golliher describes his philosophy on working with horses. People usually call it “horse whispering.” Golliher thinks it’s the best way to develop the maximum potential of not only horses, but also employees and children. He just thinks of it as good leadership and mentorship. Grant says that in his younger days, he broke horses the “bronco busting” way like everyone else, but he learned a better way. We watched an hour long demonstration at the Golliher’s ranch, Diamond Cross Ranch, outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming and it was nothing short of mesmerizing. I was so taken with the demonstration that I devoured his book, “Think Like a Horse,” on the flights home. It is easy to see how so many people from all walks of life as well as executives of big companies have found their way to the Golliher’s Wyoming ranch to watch how Grant can change a horse’s life because it’s quite obvious that his philosophy can be applied in the professional and personal lives of all of us.

There were about seventy of us at the ranch Saturday evening. It was the grand finale of an action packed super fun weekend sponsored by Kunde Family Winery of Sonoma County, California. Here’s the back story. Several years ago, we visited the winery with some friends who had invited us out the spend time with them at a house they had rented in Napa for a month. We loved the wine and the winery and joined their wine club. They organized a wine weekend in Jackson Hole in 2021, but Covid-19 changed all that, so it was rescheduled for this past weekend. We met our friends out here and had an incredible weekend visiting Yellowstone National Park again and Grand Teton National Park for the first time. We had wonderful meals with great wines, of course, and it was a perfect weekend. But our evening at Diamond Cross Ranch was the pièce de résistence. The ranch is beautiful and the views are spectacular. Meeting the Gollihers was fabulous and watching Grant work his magic with a troubled little filly was unforgettable. Grant would say that it’s not magic. He would say that he uses basic and essential lessons applicable to both horse and humans to gain a horse’s trust, respect, and cooperation.

When we first walked into the ranch’s arena, the round ring was empty, but there was a lot of kicking and neighing coming from a stall in the back of the arena. We could not see the horse, but it was obvious that she wanted to be somewhere other than there. Like most of the horses Grant works with, she was probably brought to him by someone who had given up on her. The Golliher ranch is often the last stop before the glue factory, to put it bluntly.

I’ll be honest. I’ve never been a fan of horses which is not a popular position to take in my horsey hometown, but I think that my opinion of them has been rooted in a basic misunderstanding of the animal. I’ve always thought of them as big stupid animals that are skittish and unpredictable. They are anything but stupid and their skittish nature is natural since they are often prey. They see people as predators. Grant uses his well-honed skills to try to figure out what the horse is feeling and then he begins gaining the horse’s trust so that the horse thinks of him as his friend and leader but not as a threat. Essentially, the horse needs to understand that Grant is not a predator but is taking on the role of the herd’s dominant horse.

Imagine trusting a horse enough to stand right behind it like Grant is doing! This shows the level of mutual trust and understanding Grant and this horse share.


Grant says the old way of “breaking” a horse will get results. The animal will do what you make it do; it will work for you, but never with you. Grant’s method of horse training is rooted in his belief that horses, as animals often preyed upon, have evolved into very sensitive and intuitive animals. They can sense the intentions of a predator and will react accordingly. Grant starts with the cornerstones of his philosophy: “Respect comes before friendship. Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult. Honor the slightest try and the smallest change. Be slow to take and quick to give.”


Jane Golliher introduced her husband. Her grandparents immigrated from Switzerland and settled in Wyoming seeking a better life. She inherited the ranch from her parents.


The little filly ran around and around the ring looking terrified at first.


Grant enlisted assistance in helping the terrified little horse feel more at ease. The horse Grant is sitting on communicated to her that she was safe there.


Grant showed her that he trusted her by getting himself in a position of vulnerability. He was asking her to trust him, too.


It was amazing to see that Grant was able to get enough trust from her to put a rope bridle on her. There is no bit in her mouth. Next he coaxed her between the rails and the step so that he could put his weight on her back, preparing her for being ridden.


The Diamond Cross Ranch keeps a busy schedule putting on demonstrations for companies large and small from all over the country. Grant says he is just a cowboy and never ever thought that he would end up writing books and teaching principles of leadership to company executives, politicians, coaches, and parents. So many people who come to them seeking to improve communication and cooperation on a professional level end up saying that the lessons they learn are most impactful on a personal level. If you meet the Gollihers, you immediately sense that they are genuinely warm and approachable which is why they have been so successful in changing the lives of both man and beast.


  1. Pam Morgan on May 30, 2023 at 4:33 pm

    Did you purchase one of their books? The experience seems very kind.

  2. Ruth Anne Lawson on May 30, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    Kunde bought everyone a copy. It’s a good read!

  3. Judy on May 31, 2023 at 5:43 am

    Loved your story!

  4. Sarah Guida on May 31, 2023 at 10:17 am

    Loved the story of the Golliher’s at Diamond Cross Ranch! Horses are amazing!

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