Here’s another story dug out of the back end of the old website.
Leadership is worth NOTHING without willing and happy co-operation
Getting co-operation from your horse is more important than you having leadership.
Before she broke her foot, my daughter Melissa was teaching young Asbrandt how to ride with her interpretation of the concepts that we were using 10 years ago.
Somebody gave him an Appaloosa horse called Harry, who was pretty green, quite frightened of lots of things and VERY reactive with his old owner, who lost interest when it was all just too hard.
Melissa reckons a large part of Asbrandt’s success comes from the way he is “being” with his horse. Because he couldn’t ride yet and Harry wasn’t safe to ride either, in between lessons he just wanted to “be” with his horse and spent quite a bit of time just in the paddock with him. He learnt how to move him around a bit to explore their communication together, how to halter and lead him safely. He developed a comfort zone with his horse in the things that he’s doing and he expanded that comfort zone as he learnt more things from Mel.
Isn’t this every kids dream? Being this close with their horse?
And this photo was taken in his third lesson.
Can you believe that – his THIRD lesson? There are advanced riders who would kill for this kind connection with their horse!
Before that he knew absolutely nothing about horses. Harry is co-operating with Asbrandt to the millionth degree all the way to the ridden work together, because he’s found a place of comfort with this unskilled young boy that enables him to think and respond and look after his young owner.
So where does Asbrandt go from here, in terms of leadership? Well right now, he’s not the leader but it doesn’t matter because they’re communicating and co-operating with each other. As he gains skills and gets good at some things, Asbrandt is already starting to weave leadership into the communication and relationship that he has now.
Eventually there will be much more stuff that they do together that Asbrandt will be the leader in, with Harry still the leader in other areas. Sometimes they’ll even swap leadership, without need for argument, because that’s what the moment brings them.
If Asbrandt gets to be a truly brilliant horseman, if that is his dream, he may become Harry’s leader in lots of things that they do together.
BUT THAT MAY NEVER HAPPEN.
So who cares? If he reaches his dream, whatever that is and he’s safe and enjoying himself, who cares if he’s not the leader? This kind of co-operation is normal when you use this way of doing things.
Ordinary people being Extraordinary…