Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~ Thomas Merton

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reflections on Leadership

Sometimes the universe pauses in it's conspiracy against me and offers me a ray of hope, a glimpse of the positive, a bit of a silver lining.

Okay, maybe the whole "conspiracy against me" thing is a little dramatic. But isn't that how it feels sometimes? That no matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, things just don't get any better? I know it's often a matter of perspective and if I can pull back a little, I can see that the clouds are not so gray as they first appear.

In yesterday's post, I talked about creating willing obedience in Cricket. I posted the question to one of my email discussion groups and received some awesome feedback. One person wrote:
I would say some of the ways to get obedience are that you have to be supremely confident, focused and project that your ideas are GREAT ideas and you are going to show how good it will be together. If she protests in whatever way, you need to firmly, but fondly, say "try it, you'll like it." You must have an end in mind and if she offers anything remotely like what your end in, you should thank her.

Imagine what you are asking is the most important thing in the whole world. That is how focused you must be. Feel inside your bones that nothing will keep you from achieving it and do not be dissuaded by a little 'irritation' from your mare if she doesn't like your idea. Again, don't get mad, just stay positive and firm.

Do this for short spurts, because you must maintain your energy, focus and respond to her. If you reward her for small efforts and keep it interesting, she will soon be offering more. First, though, you have to overcome her resistance and to do that you have to prove you have good ideas.
Hmm . . . sounds an awful lot like LEADERSHIP. And here's where the universe smiles on me - I received my Savvy Club Gold shipment for July. The Mastery Manual is titled Natural Leadership. Talk about "when the student is ready, the teacher appears."

Some of the stuff in the manual is familiar - things about herd hierarchy and how horses understand leadership. There are a few things I disagree with - for example, I don't think that "dominant" and "alpha" are synonymous. But there is an awful lot that gives me something to lick and chew over. The quizzes are my favorite - asking questions that cause me to reflect on my leadership skills and abilities and the balance between love, language and leadership. Rather than just saying, "my horse loves me," questions are posed that ask me to explain how I know she loves me and what that means in the balance of our relationship.

I am excited that this particular manual has come to me at this particular moment in my horsemanship journey. Parelli ROCKS!

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