This is another very old article from my old website that I liked so much that I brought it over here.
Have any of you ever thought about the way that we deal with conflict with people having some similarity to the way in which we deal with conflict with our horses? That is, how we deal with our horse when he or she says “no” or “I don’t want to” or “I’m scared and I can’t” or “I’m confused”?
I’ve noticed it before as an instructor, but I’ve done a fair bit of thinking about that personally lately. I had a big and unfortunately very public conflict with someone on our discussion group, who thought that I was doing something wrong. Whether I was or wasn’t, isn’t really the point here.
What is the point though, is that I have been changing how I deal with conflict, using the insights and techniques in the books Pathway to Heaven on Earth and Zen Connection with Horses. And over the last few weeks, with many thanks to the person involved, I’ve made huge great leaps forwards in how I deal with conflict.
What kind of coincidence do you think it is that my horsemanship has taken huge leaps forwards at the same time? And I mean huge. And I thought I was pretty good before… I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe in coincidences and I certainly don’t think there’s any here.
- All of a sudden (yeah, right!) I have very clear techniques that work when my horse says “no”
- techniques that have not the tiniest bit of “make” in them,
- techniques that do not make my horse wrong for not wanting to do it, for wanting something different,
- techniques that do not make me wrong or a failure for not achieving what I wanted straight away,
- techniques that both my horse and I enjoy doing,
- techniques that increase our connection,techniques that have both me and my horse bubbling with joyfulness.
- techniques that work.
That all sounds pretty good, eh? So what are these techniques?
Do you know, I started to write about them… and then I deleted them. Because I realised that the techniques are not what this article is about. Techniques are a dime a dozen. Techniques that suit you and your horse are what you can come up with, yourself, when you and your horse are connected and in any case, you can get ideas from all over the place, from all over this website.
This article is about how I deal with conflict. And it’s about how you deal with conflict. And it’s about us deciding whether those ways that we have been dealing with conflict are useful to us and our horses. And about how we can change how we deal with conflict – so that you too can find your own “right”ways of dealing with your horse differently when he or she doesn’t do what you’ve asked them to do.
So why not sit there for a moment, right now, even close your eyes – and have a think about how you deal with conflict. Think about how you deal with your horse when they say “no”. Think about whether you or your horse would like to change anything about that. And then keep your eyes open for the opportunities that will come along about how to do conflict differently…
I suspect that you, like me, might be in the midst of the most profound riding lesson of your whole life … and you haven’t left your chair.
If you haven’t registered for your completely free gift lessons The 9 Keys to Happiness with Your Horse, then you might like to get those awesome insights now. 🙂