You might be wondering, why horses. What can you possibly learn from a horse?
Unlike humans, who are predators, horses are prey animals. This means that their method of thinking is completely different than they way we humans think and operate in life. Their very way of being in an environment is different than ours. While we tend to be hyper focused on one area of life, one goal, one task, ignoring everything else, horses cannot do this. Their life in the wild literally depends on it. They must be aware at all times. They have a 360 degree awareness, being able to take in everything in their environment around them. At the same time they must go about their daily lives of eating, having relationships in the herd, and just living from day to day. They are able to find a remarkable state of awareness and being relaxed at the same time.
Because of their hyper awareness they are very sensitive to what is REALLY happening, despite what one might say. They are able to distinguish between someone who is truly confident in their leading, and someone who is all talk. They can and will “call out” someone whose leadership is not authentic. You cannot lie to a horse.
Horses naturally live in a herd or a band. As prey animals they are safer when they are not alone. They need to be with other horses, it is literally life and death in the wild. Because of this they are masters at teamwork. Each horse has its own place within the herd. They expect and require a level of teamwork that most teams, corporations, and families strive for. When we work with them we are expected and required to demonstrate the same level of teamwork and leadership that they have within their own herd.
Horses must have strong leadership within their herd. Leaders who will keep the best interest of the herd in mind and do what needs to be done to keep the herd safe. This requires a leader who the other horses both trust and respect. A horse will step up and be the leader if there is not another horse or person that they feel will be a good leader. When we work with the horse we will be tested and called upon to demonstrate that we are the sort of leader they want to follow. And the sort of leader a horse wants to follow is someone who is confident, fair, communicates well, and demonstrates that they are someone who can be trusted and respected. Just like the type of leader people want to follow.