I’m getting used to the raised eyebrow and a head tilt when I mention I train confidence in leadership and communication by partnering with horses.
It may be unusual but it’s a naturally wonderful, and transformational process!
One of the most common benefits is the reintroduction to the art of simply BE-ing. That is, Present. Not, saying, “ah huh” and responding to a chime on the phone, but really in the moment.
By the way, that is where horses live.
We, on the other hand, are forgetting how to BE
More than ever in the history of man, our brains crave solitude and quiet to maintain health. Our technology-driven world seems to connect us with information in milliseconds, and yet all of the arrhythmic input does not allow us to connect with the rhythm of our bodies and the natural world. We are literally disconnecting from the very thing that keeps us healthy! Rest and natural rhythm.
The result is a crisis: Success-minded people won’t spend precious time for a reset, and instead they push harder.
Exhaustion, overwhelm and depression are at all-time highs.
In the natural world, the leader of a wild herd is the mare who is the most calm and aware. She is trusted to lead the others to water and food. Being calm and aware are two evasive qualities in our modern human world that can create effective and trustworthy relationships.
So, how can WE get back to BE-ing and remain calm while being aware and present?
Ask a horse what time it is, he’d say, “Well, now! That’s what time it is.” They don’t worry about tomorrow, or fret over yesterday. They do not live in story (as we do). They do not feel less worthy because they remember the pushing incident at the water trough that happened last month.
Horses have survived for millions of years because they constantly read the energy in their environment and react within seconds if they sense danger. Thus, if we stand with them and are not present, or not congruent (literally feeling how we are acting), they will want nothing to do with us.
So, if you are asked to create a relationship with an equine partner (from the ground, not his back), you are forced to be present and aware. If for no other obvious reason than you are standing feet away from an animal that is many times your size! Your very sense of self-preservation will bring you into the moment!
Then you check in to see if you are congruent. Are you really confident or are you faking it? By saying, “I am trying to be confident” (truthful), you will be more in alignment and your horse will instantly see you as more trustworthy. It’s amazing how freeing it is to realize that being truthful and honest is actually much easier than trying to “appear” as though you’ve got it all figured out.
If you have a relationship that is challenging, here are 3 things I’ve learned from the herd:
- Breathe. When we stress, and run through our day on fire with multitasking, we literally can forget to take a deep breath. Stop. Breath in 4 seconds. Hold 4 seconds. Release 4 seconds. Repeat. Say, “Hello” to the present moment!
- Try to meet the person where they are, not where you want them to be. A horse must trust you before he would move his feet for you in true partnership. You’d gain his trust by showing interest in where he is right now.
- Embrace honesty and vulnerability. Approach the person with truthfulness: “I am hurt” or, “I’d really like to understand. Can you help me?” This may feel risky, but so is standing in front of an animal that is 10 times your size that you’ve never met. I haven’t lost anyone yet!
Although learning in an outdoor environment with horses can sometimes feel like magic, there is a foundation of science that has been the material to inspire many books on equine-assisted personal development, coaching and psychotherapy (EAP). For more on Sandra Dee’s approach and her Charismatic Cowgirl Coaching: www.SandraDeeRobinson.com
Be sure to pick up a copy of Sandra’s free book to help you feel centered and energized daily: sandradeerobinson.com/aweinspirations/
Thank you to my guest for this blog:
Sandra Dee Robinson is a known television actress (Soap opera star), author, international speaker, TV and radio host.
Sandra Dee founded Charisma on Camera Performance Coaching in 2010 and her equine-assisted coaching program, Charismatic Cowgirl in 2017.
She is master certified in NLP, Hypnosis, Stage mastery as well as trained in Natural Lifemanship, EAGALA and is a Certified Success and Soul Business Coach.