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In a curriculum meeting, it was discussed how we will teach clients to lead our horses; from leading at the throatlatch or neck area of the horse or having him follow our lead from 6 ft behind us. I don’t know what the horse prefers from his perspective, however, he does need a good leader to communicate to him where he needs to be.
Being in a leadership role here at Stormwalker Ranch, which has been growing with new opportunities and hearing other leaders instruct lessons, a thought occurred to me. If we hold tight too close to the halter of the horse, we are in a sense limiting his movement through control. This could be a safety concern since now we are in his face and space. If he was to get worried or scared, he would either run over the top of us or jerk us under his feet if he took off in flight mode. We never gave him an area or space to learn in while still being in a partnership with him. I heard it once called being connected through separation. Our lessons here at SWR don’t always just address the horse in partnership, but here we do our best to apply them to the everyday life that we all live in.
With all that said, let’s think about this, can a person grow if you are limiting their choices or keeping them in a box or think of controlling a horse versus influencing his response? I see this happen all the time in our EEL sessions where a small group might be trying to influence a horse towards a certain obstacle or goal, but really they end up blocking the way or push too hard which usually tends to send the horse into panic mode to get the heck out of there no matter what. That horse doesn’t usually try harder to head towards that obstacle if you don’t release the pressure when he at least tries.
Leaders or horsemen aren’t one-man bands; there is something or someone connected. We are all on this journey together to equip and empower others to perform at their best. We are all learning how to give others the room that they need to grow, follow, and lead. It’s hard for us to let go and trust others at times, just like we have to find that trust with our horses. There are even times when we can help too much and limit growth. Jesus was a perfect role model of this leadership. He called his disciples, taught them, walked with them, and ultimately trusted them to carry out his message. Despite their imperfections, He believed in them and called them to become better versions of themselves. It’s not about us alone, but the opportunities to lead others and change their lives.
Closing thoughts are to keep an open mind to other’s thoughts; be who God created you to be, help direct towards truth, encourage and support one another in the journey. Give even yourself some space as you lead in life. Don’t limit your own choices or growth.
Let’s all do our best to continue to move forward in our own growth, but also take someone with you as you are “Leading Through” life.
Blessed [with spiritual security] is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the Lord and whose hope and confident expectation is the Lord. For he will be [nourished] like a tree planted by the waters, that spreads out its roots by the river; and will not fear the heat when it comes; but its leaves will be green and moist. And it will not be anxious and concerned in a year of drought nor stop bearing fruit. – Jeremiah 17:7-8
Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve. – Colossians 3:23-24
But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23