In these highly interactive and engaging learning experiences, participants learn the power of the horse perspective as a coach. Horses are highly intuitive in their leadership and team assessment. Authentic leadership styles emerge while interacting in a series of experiential activities. Breakdowns in team synergy, communication, and planning will show up very quickly as participants work together to ‘problem solve’ with their equine partners. As animals of prey, horses require strong and focused leadership.
Working with horses first and foremost expands nonverbal awareness. Internet relationships, computer games, cell phones and ipads encourage excessive reliance on language and surface appearances. Modern humans are literally mesmerized by words, yet psychologists have determined that less than 10 percent of our communication is verbal. Vast nuances of information arise from behaviour, emotional import, intent, and more subtle energetic exchanges, qualities so totally downplayed in post-industrial society that people are losing their ability to function fully and authentically in the moment.
The horses engage us in Experiential Learning – learning by doing. It is a process through which individuals gain knowledge, acquire skills, and enhance values from direct experience. FEEL activities reinforce the perceptions of change and promote integration for individuals to make the learning’s practical and meaningful.
Horses help people move forward by requiring them to be present in the moment and not relying on outdated thought patterns or opinions. In other words, horses rely on actions being more powerful than words.
Because it is impossible to make a horse do anything, they teach us the difference between willingness and compliance. From this we understand that it is just as difficult to force employees to produce quality performance.
Most importantly horses make great coaches because they have no investment in the outcome of our relationship with them, they don’t lie, they have no egos or master plans. Horses simply are who they are, clearly, purely. That’s why the information they give us about ourselves is so powerful. They are perfect mirrors for us to observe how we are creating our current reality.
How does this work?
Participants engage in safe and fun groundwork exercises with horses in a controlled setting; where there is no riding involved. How the horse reacts to their communication, behaviour, and body language provides them with clear, instructive feedback we can utilize to identify opportunities for individual and team leadership development
Each exercise is a combination of demonstration, hands on exploration, and guided discussion. This allows participants the opportunity to experience, observe and reflect on how attitude, body language and intent impact what we communicate and the results we get.
Participants who attend a workshop at Horse Spirit Connections, return to the office energized, motivated, and inspired by their work with the horses; they have insights about their own and others’ behaviour which make a real difference in how they perceive, evaluate, and choose to respond to each other.