Lessons We Can Learn From Horses: Be a Leader
There are many lessons we can learn from horses, so the next few posts will cover them.
When people first meet, they generally have mutual respect for one another, or at least make an effort to be pleasant and cordial. As humans, we spend time getting to know one another, eventually figuring out our relationship’s purpose and status. We then try to follow some sort of established protocol and either move forward or away from one another.
For example, a relationship we develop with a boss is going to look much different from one that is developed between parent and child, husband and wife, or two good friends. As adults, most of us want to develop relationships that are on equal footing. We strive to cultivate healthy boundaries, and are generally uncomfortable with people who are too controlling and demanding, or otherwise push our buttons.
Horses are different. They need to know who is boss right from the start. This means that for things to work out, i.e. for you and your horse to get along and literally enjoy the ride, you need to step up and be the alpha, the leader, and do it in a way that builds and maintains trust. For many people, this is a tall order. For some, their conditioning prevents them from assuming this role and, when it comes to horse, they suffer the consequences. For others, leading comes naturally.
Whether you’re riding for fun, or training your horse to do something new, the horse wants you to be in charge of the situation so that he feels safe. Keep in mind, just like you, safety is critical. What happens when you don’t step up and lead? Your horse will act out.
Here’s the good news—becoming a leader is something you can learn.
Once you understand that your horse needs you to be the boss, you can begin to develop these important skills. As a result, you will soon see an overall improvement in the way the horse responds. Essentially, the dynamics between you will get better and your connection will grow stronger.
Eventually, the skills you cultivate will transfer to your own life. Situations that seemed impossible to manage will begin to shift. At first, the change might be unperceivable, but eventually, you’ll be living your life with a clearly defined purpose, managing it just as you do your horse.
Here’s the lesson: Step up and take charge. Learn to lead your horse, and soon, you will become a manager of your own life.