I feel like this is one of those, everything I learned, I learned in Kindergarten type post! It sort of is when I say that everything I learned I learned from a horse!
You see horseback riding is alot like a dance (credit to my trainer!) and in this dance your partner is a 1000lb animal who doesn’t speak the language and generally has it’s own idea of what the dance should look like (and quick tip it does not start with you on it’s back!)
You see when you get on a horse for the first time or the 1000th time the horse has to adjust to what you want! The horse does not want to walk around in circles going fast and slow. It does not want to walk over water by roads, or over tree limbs. It wants to go hang out with his buddies in a pasture where it can eat, sleep and lay in the sun! (Yes they do lay down but that’s another post)
When you get on the horse you have to adjust your idea AND make sure the horse knows you are the boss. You can get the idea across by being mean just like you can when you lead. But the horse is probably going to take it for a while then dump you… literally! Or you can get on the horse and you can encourage the horse to go in the direction you want. You do this with multiple aids, your body, feet, reins and pressure.
The horse I am currently riding is an old draft horse. He’s big, slow and would much rather be in his stall. In fact yesterday I walked over with his halter and he left. Literally walked out of his stall into the mud. This was his way of telling me that he was just not that into me! (My trainer did explain to him that we were riding and he finally agreed)
You see I could of yelled and hit him but all that does is show him that I am mean. Why do we think this is ok as leaders? We get mad at our team because they are human and don’t want to do some of the stuff we are asking. Instead of getting mad, why don’t we encourage them. Share how this is helping them and the team!
Reward them when they are done. My horse got apples and carrots yesterday. Now when I go back on Wednesday to ride he’s going to remember that this human is OK. She gives treats!
As leaders we need to remember that we are doing a dance with our team. We are the leader but we are going to get our team to go in the direction we want if we approach it in a more friendly manner.