Horses teach us to appreciate the nonverbal as well as verbal messages that we give to others. Working in partnership with horses requires patience, gentleness, self-confidence, sensitivity, focus and keen awareness. Horses are large, but easily frightened, prey animals whose survival has depended on becoming exquisitely attuned to body language, innuendo, and emotional tone, and to the position and movements of objects in their sensory fields. By reflecting back to us the signals and intents of which we aren’t even aware – much less aware that we are communicating outward – horses train us to notice at all times the information that we convey.
Horses encourage us to explore what’s possible in each of us. They are social animals with well-defined roles within their herds. They have distinct personalities, attitudes and moods. An approach that works with one horse doesn’t necessarily work with another. We must win a horse’s respect on her own terms before imposing our own. Because horses react to the most subtle of human signals, they hold up a magnifying mirror to our styles and our behaviours. In this mirror, we see the image and path to our professional development and our personal growth.
To learn more about the benefits of working with horses as natural coaches, watch our video.