These are the people in whom we see such tremendous progress as the day goes on, and they start to abandon their pretensions and get closer and closer to their authentic selves.
The amazing things about working with horses is that unlike humans, they do not operate under the burden of ego. Horses are creatures of perpetual mindfulness, taking their behavioral cues from what they sense in their immediate environment, and ignoring everything else.
They do not engage in a behavior that they do not want to do because they think it will advance them to where they want to go in the future.
They do not take certain actions because they want to pay someone back for a good deed or an ill deed. A horse does not flatter someone to arouse their affections, or insult someone to express their anger.
A horse can only behave in one way, and that is with total authenticity. What you see is exactly what you are seeing; what you get is exactly what you get.
Horses are unimpressed whether the human they are interacting with is corporately or politically important. They do not care whether a person drives a four-year-old Ford truck or a brand-new Mercedes.
All horses care about is how you interact with them in this precise moment. If you are authentic with them, they will be authentic back to you. If they sense you are operating through the masks of ego, they will help you adjust to authenticity in the moment.
Horses are herd animals and prey animals, they have no use for ego in their quest to survive.
In the process, they can teach us much about finding our own authenticity. It is only when we remove our protective layers of ego and pretense and become who we truly are that they choose to connect fully with us. At that point, they will engage with us without constraints, because they recognize that what they think they see is in fact what they see.
How can we recognize that we are not being authentic when we work with horses?
The biggest signal of non-authenticity is when we are a different person at work from the person we are at home. When we focus on the past and not the present or future, when we do not really know what we think or feel about just about everything, we fake interest in too any things.
It is a genuine expression of wanting to connect as opposed to a contrived exchange. It is most of all when we lead with heart and mind combined into one authentic action.
HorseDream Canada, founded by Susan Wilson, provides high impact, quality leadership and team development experiences for individuals, teams, leaders and companies. It is part of an internationally renowned Horse Assisted Education Program provided transformative learning experiences around the world. HorseDream Canada is a division of I DO BUSINESS. Inc., a social purpose business. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch for our new book, Leadership 93/7 coming soon!