Ride and trust in business and investor relations

Successful Investor Relationships and Building Trust

Trust Between Rider and Horse: A Model for Successful Cooperation in Organisations and Investor Relationships.

Situational Dominance, Building Trust with Investors,
and the Essence of Relationships

In a previous blog article, we wrote about how Dr. Katalin Varga, one of Pannon Goup’s owners, has been immersed in the world of horses since childhood. Alongside her career as an international-level equestrian athlete, she serves as a ground jury member at equestrian events worldwide.

We chatted with the founder of Pannova Horses Kft., a member of the Pannon Group, about situational dominance among horses, how to cooperate with them, and the context of trust in investor relationships.


Building Trust with Investors and Horse Riding:
Focusing on the Common Goal

According to Kata Varga, observing and understanding the thinking and behaviour of horses can enhance our perception of horizontal organisational structures and personal motivations. She argues that only intrinsic motivation can lead to outstanding athletic performance in both human and equestrian athletes. Love, gratitude, fear, or obedience never suffice (not to mention the danger of anthropomorphisation). In her opinion, competing with horses echoes team sports rather than individual disciplines since the horse-rider partnership resembles the dynamism present in other paired or team sports.

“Groups of horses do not have the established hierarchy that dogs and wolves have. Horses exhibit situational dominance based on cooperation rather than an embedded hierarchy. The leader’s person keeps switching depending on the abilities required by the situation, the ever-changing conditions and those showcased by different stud members.. ” interpreted the context Kata Varga. She also added that

it was this “realm of leadership” represented by horses, based on partnership, cooperation, acceptance, and trust, that captured her.

“Carrying out an instruction without hesitation is usually simple obedience rather than an act of trust, though it is often confused with it”, claimed Kata Varga. If the horse and rider cooperate and trust each other, the rider must also trust the horse and its opinion. Horses do not necessarily carry out all our instructions blindly, which is neither a coincidence nor always an act of defiance, but rather a way of indicating their opinion. For example, the horse perceives more from the environment, while the rider knows the marking of the course and the tasks to be completed. Neither is less important than the other, but in the process of cooperation, which is the path to success, the partner’s will, intuition, motivation or other ideas for solutions must be taken into account. And I also find this to be true in business and organisational relationships.

The effectiveness of an organisation also depends on collective and free action.

“I deeply believe Hannah Arendt’s concept of leadership that the essence is the relationship between two entities. In contrast, the Weberian interpretation[1]—that leaders realise their own will even against the resistance of others participating in that action—does not work for me,” emphasised Kata Varga. Quoting Hannah Arendt’s philosophical insight, she highlights that, for her, power stems from the human ability to act in concert.

bizalom befektetés Pannon Cégcsoport Pécs

She concludes that this origin of power is transparent for equestrians since their potential only exists as long as the small community with the horse is intact. “The horse is the best mirror; straightforward, honest, undistorted, without regard to such aspects as feelings and status when cooperating.”


“Power is actualized only where word and deed have not parted company, where words are not empty and deeds not brutal, where words are not used to veil intentions but to disclose realities, and deeds are not used to violate and destroy but to establish relations and create new realities.”
Source: Arendt, H. (1972) Crises of the Republic. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, p.143
“Power preserves the public realm and the space of appearance, and as such it is also the lifeblood of the human artifice, which, unless it is the scene of action and speech, of the web of human affairs and relationships and the stories engendered by them, lacks its ultimate raison d’etre.”
Hannah Arendt – The Human Condition

1 „Leaders realise their own will in a communal action even against the resistance of others who are participating in that action.” Weber, M. (1998). Class,status, and party. In R. Levine (Ed.), Social class and stratification: Classic statements and theoretical debates (Second ed., pp. 43-56). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.



“We have the ability to act, to create value together, and this sense of empowerment fills me with euphoria. When we collaborate, drawing from shared inspiration and abilities, our potential is limitless – together, we can achieve far more than we ever could alone!”

– said Kata Varga, presenting her credo.


Now, back to the practice
of investor relationships!

The ideas expressed so far fit ideally not only in the world of organisational operation but also in the sphere of investor relationships. Trust, an essential pillar of a successful investment, must be mutual, i.e. two-way! She argues that one-way trust, where one party expects unconditional compliance from the other simply because they are trusted, is essentially a form of domination or obedience rather than a true partnership. This has no place in investor relationships.

“In my experience, an investor will develop trust in the team if he recognises that the members of the partner team trust themselves and each other.”

– emphasised Katalin Varga.

A well-coordinated group that regards its partners’ needs as paramount listens to them genuinely and then works to find a solution to fulfil those needs while voicing questions, raising doubts, and discussing possibilities with an open mind.

These sincere conversation scenarios based on mutual trust are the most reliable and productive starting points for an investment.

Investors do not favour a “blindfolded” execution of their wishes either. They take an extensive risk in the transaction and, therefore, need the most accurate information and careful consideration possible. According to Kata Varga, sincere interest and openness are the basis. “A good investor appreciates honesty and even expects it!” – she claims.

The investment consultant is crucial in providing investors reliable information on the local economic, social, labour market, tax, and political contexts. To bestow real value, the consultant must have the broadest information base, constantly analyse the situation and always be available. This commitment to a deep understanding of the local context makes investors feel secure and informed.

“We are devoted to achieving investor goals. We know that the road leading to these goals is often time-consuming and meticulous, like endurance riding, but we never lose sight of our target, the return on investment,” added Kata Varga.

In addition to the above, Pannon Group is also involved in tourism development, agriculture and the insurance sector.