Working with horses requires the same three elements as working with people.
You can learn what horses and people have going on in their lives and personalities. You won't be able to read their minds and you have no control over what they bring to the interaction - their past experiences, interpretations of your behavior, etc. But empathy puts you in the best possible place to respond.
- Communication Skills
You can learn verbal and nonverbal behaviors that improve your interactions with horses and with people.
- Intuitive Energy or Presence
You can learn how to access and hone the invisible and potentially powerful presence you bring to interactions. This energy or presence isn't something people often talk about, but you've experienced it. Think of the way your board room feels when people are tense, relaxed, celebratory, focused, etc. Your ability to manage the intuitive energy you bring to interactions is a critical leadership skill.
The horse will respond to you out of this third element before, and sometimes instead of, the other two. They will give immediate feedback about how your presence is affecting them. That's what makes them such good partners in the learning process.
An equine session may look like you're moving a horse around in an arena, but with the right facilitators, you'll be learning these three elements with a special emphasis on intuitive energy or presence.
What an Equine Session Is Like
What You'll Learn
Our equine sessions are all groundwork (no horseback riding) and include a wide range of activities like: grooming, working with the horse both on an off lead, line driving, and working through obstacle courses with your horse. All of these activities are designed to help you develop these following four skills required of both horsemen and leaders.
The way your presence affects how the horse responds to you. It might seem like emotion when you first become aware of it, but it’s really a sensation that’s deeper than emotion.
Recognizing and managing your own energy will help you in conversations where people typically report increased anxiety – like attending networking events, confronting unmet expectations with a colleague, or performing job performance reviews.
When you’re thinking and working in sync with the horse, you can accomplish your objectives together because he is completely tuned in and responsive to your energy and communication.
You’ve seen this kind of connection between a quarterback and receiver or in a surgical team or construction crew where people just seem to know what to do next and how to respond to each other.
Directing your energy to different areas of the horse to get him to accomplish the goal you’re after. It involves learning how to manage and focus your energy so the horse can understand what you’re asking him to do. When you’re learning to use appropriate pressure, it’s just as important to learn when to release it as when to apply it.
You use communication to apply and release pressure with people. Verbally you select particular words for people to both understand and feel what you’re asking of them. Nonverbally, you use all sorts of cues - you may stand at a particular distance, choose whether to touch someone’s shoulder, or decide whether to sustain eye contact.
Setting intention is when you are absolutely clear about where you’re taking the horse and how you’ll get there. It involves both having a logical plan and an inner certainty as you execute it.
When leaders move along with clarity and confidence, people know what’s expected of them and are empowered to take responsibility for their role in accomplishing the task.
The whole process was wonderful
The exercises we used showed me how to use this information in day-to-day life.
This training helped point out positive things and things I need to be aware of in how I approach life.