Communicating and Leading – What makes a natural leader?
“Natural Leadership” is a symbolic term. Symbol means in the original sense of the word “joining”. The work of communicating and leading involves the “joining ” of human and horse.
As the horse has been integrated into our habitat, we humans are requested to handle the horse in a natural, confident, equitable, respectful and knowledgeable way to learn to be a good partner to.
What makes a person who leads his horse naturally and confident?
Authentic emotionality, self-reflection and emotional awareness
Self-management and self-reflection are absolute prerequisites for being authentic in communication with the horse. It is important to look at one’s own behaviour and emotions over and over again and, if necessary, question them. Why do I react insecure, stressed or even angry in the communication with my horse?
In dealing with our horse, we are constantly confronted with new challenges that push us to our limits. In such situations, our emotions take over – whether we like it or not. When we deliberately reflect ourselves and our behaviour, we can learn to recognize our patterns of behaviour and look at things with the necessary distance to react calmly in stressful situations.
Self-reflection can be practiced
The critical examination of oneself needs practice, patience, time and honesty.
Especially in stressful situations or in conflicts with our horse, we tend to act particularly impulsively. We need a bit of practice to be able to act in a reflective way in challenging situations. You can start by working on relaxation and reminiscing about the day or the time spent with the horse. What went positively? In which situations did you not react as you would like? What exactly do you want to change about your behaviour? You should also research causes: What could be the reason why you do not react satisfactorily in certain situations? Sometimes it helps to write down thoughts.
The role of the leader
If I am able to go through the reflection with myself and to act authentically, I am assessable for the horse. However, I have to be comfortable, because only if you feel 100% confirmed in the role of the natural leader, the horse feels it and will trust the people.
Situational leadership means that you always adapt your style of leadership to the horse and above all to the moment, according to your individual situation. Choosing the right leadership style requires skill, flexibility and intuition.
Natural leaders encourage the horse in its self-confidence and potential. This also includes giving the horse the opportunity to lead. Distributing leadership evenly on fertile soil it promotes growth and begins to blossom in self-confidence.
Ensure information flow
The transmission and circulation of information is one of the most important rules of all. If information is withheld, it restricts measures based on the cooperation, coordination and communication of horse and human.
Hold back in some situations
You do not have to plan every step and control every action. Sometimes you have to let go and allow mistakes. This is a sign of trust.
For the natural leadership and communication, the willingness to learn and grow in the context of communicating with the horse is crucial, knowing the effects of one’s own behavior. Only when you know yourself exactly, does authenticity arise in the language. Only then does the horse understand us correctly, is it able to connect with us.
Aids and body language
The work on communication and natural leadership serves to connect horse and human. When dealing with aids, it has to be about continuity, feeling, timing and balance in harmony with the horse.
The body language
Body language is the external representation of the inner attitude of every living being. Everything we do with our body has its origin in us, and more than half of our impact is determined by our body language. Thus, the horse reads the language of the human, which is why clear gestures and movements as well as focusing on the decisive are very important. Restless movements indicate indecision, nervousness or timidity. The crossing of distance zones and the expansion of one’s own space, from whichever side it originates, constitutes an intrusion into the private sphere. Respectful treatment and inner peace are elemental, whereby it should be ensured that the human is not affected by too much body language modesty looks too soft and thus loses acceptance. Authenticity always leads to success.
The rope halter should not be too thick or too large, soft and pliable and the knots should be in the right places so as not to overload the sensitive facial nerves.
The working rope may be up to 4m long, in order to have a certain amount of control, but at the same time to be able to give free space.
The stick serves to support the human body language and its intensification, if necessary.
“The abilities of a natural leader are recognized by his or her ability to recognize his or her horse’s abilities.”
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