Boundaries exist to establish safety and trust. When clear and consistent boundaries are in place those with whom we engage feel safe enough to engage in interaction that is mutually beneficial. Without clear boundaries we can experience enmeshment with others which eventually will cause us to abruptly break the bonds with have with the other for fear of suffocating.
The energy work we do with horses reinforce our own boundaries and energy fields. Setting a boundary says that I respect myself and I will protect myself from inappropriate behavior. I will not allow emotional, physical, spiritual or intellectual abuse or manipulation to define or control my personal space, values and reality.
When my boundaries are clear, consistent and congruent those who approach me will energetically feel my space before they even enter into my field or engage in an interaction. This takes place with grounding techniques and feedback from others as to how we are perceived.
By understanding my personal space and respecting yours, we can develop a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. Keep in mind that the purpose of setting a boundary is to take care of yourself and that we are the only ones who allow others to come in contact with us in anyway.
When you have a 2000-pound horse coming at you and you haven’t established clear boundaries, you learn very quickly how important they are. At Medicine Horse Ranch, we design custom horse-assisted education (HAE) programs for groups, individuals, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics. If you, your company or team would like to explore a leadership model that includes how to set boundaries, a model that has been successful for millions of years, give us a call.
The transition between winter and spring is typically more volatile than between other seasons. One day the weather can be deliciously warm and fragrant and the next day everything can be snow-covered. This season ignites the heart and soul with its new growth. The fresh green life is always a welcome sight as it emerges from the dark earth that so lovingly continues to give its richness.
The horses sense the new liveliness in the air too. Their continuous connection with the very Spirit of life can be seen in the way they care for each member of the herd. For horses, care is their superpower. It can be a superpower for us humans too when we learn the quality of care that is so natural to the horses. Instead of thinking of power as the one who exerts the most control over a person or group, if one were to consider becoming the one who genuinely cares the most, a new sense of power could emerge. A power based on trust.
Genuine caring is felt among the members of the herd as well as among humans. When a human pretends to care in order to manipulate others, that incongruity is felt. While the one attempting to manipulate may momentarily feel powerful, it is not real power.
When a human is out of harmony in the presence of horses, the horses do not trust that human. They will not respond to the human. Being in the presence of horses is one of the most visible ways to see if your heart and your head are in harmony. It is a powerful illustration that is as enlivening as the transition from winter to spring.
At Medicine Horse Ranch, we design custom horse-assisted education (HAE) programs for groups, individuals, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics. If you, your company or team would like to explore a leadership model that has been successful for millions of years, give us a call. Spring is a wonderful time for true leaders to emerge.
“A horse is such a thing of beauty; none will tire of looking at him” Xenophon
Since the beginning of recorded time, horses have danced through our art, shared our mythology, and shaped our history. Together, humans and horses have waged war, tilled soil, explored new lands, and engaged in great contests. Kings and commoners, heroes and villains, saints and sorcerers have all ridden into history on the back of the horse. Equines bring us as close as we will ever come to flying on our own.
These powerful beings are at once mysterious yet knowable, wild but manageable. Horses evoke in us a fierce love, and a unique relationship that, once discovered, never dims with age nor fades with time.
The size, presence and power of a horse is naturally intimidating to many people. Accomplishing a task involving a horse, in spite of fear, creates confidence and provides for some wonderful metaphors when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life. Participants in horse-assisted leadership programs can rebuild trust easily with a horse, something that may have seemed impossible to do with people.
At the heart of horse-assisted leadership programs are lessons that reconnect humans to our true humanity. Horses don’t see humans as non-horse. They see us as part of the herd and will gently create conditions for the best to emerge in every person so that each person can be an asset to the herd. Working with horses can help you reclaim meaning and purpose in your personal life while inspiring and cultivating cooperation, connection and excellence within professional pursuits. Through the horse’s kinesthetic wisdom, honesty, dignity, majesty, presence and power, the best parts of our true humanity are nurtured and encouraged. We find peace, feel connection and respect for one another, and the planet we inhabit.
This is the month of love. As we explore how we can bring more love to the foreground in our professional and personal endeavors, working with horses could be the path to a style of leaderships that is more loving and productive. At Medicine Horse Ranch, we design custom horse assisted experiential programs for groups, individuals, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics.
Amidst the waves of social, political and economic change we are currently experiencing how can leaders rise to the challenge and deliver on a vision for a better future? I believe we must rethink conventional wisdom on this topic. In our search for a new way to lead, we must first allow ourselves to think unconventionally which will certainly require new and unconventional approaches.
Anyone who is consciously embarked upon the learner’s/leadership path continually matures into new phases throughout the course of life. Successful leaders naturally reach a new destination only to find they need to reinvent themselves again and again.
New Ideas Come From The Heart
This fertile ground, this leadership path, becomes the playing field for developing new skills. It is a never-ending quest that requires redefining and refining WHO we are now. Horses, and the horse sense they offer up to humans in the 21st century, may allow us to see our growth and learning in a new light and become a metaphor for how we are leading change in our own lives, our families, our communities and our world. Through working with horses, we come into alignment with our intuitive nature allowing us to feel our way through life which is distinct from knowing our way. Feeling comes from the heart and gives rise to novel, out-of-the-box ideas.
Shifting The Leadership Paradigm
Those in corporations must make a shift in thinking about conventional top-down leadership. This model in which everyone below the ‘leader’ is considered to be virtually interchangeable does not inspire trust, loyalty or the motivation to grow. An unconventional approach to leadership considers each individual a leader in their own right when their talents and strengths are clearly identified and appropriately used.
Working With Horse Power
I have never met a person who is not awed by the beauty and power of a swiftly moving horse. They are an ancient archetypical symbol in the human psyche representing dignity, honor, nobility, beauty strength, sovereignty and endurance. The horse’s majestic presence conjures our imaginations and inspires us to bring forward our own sense of freedom, power and destiny.
Biologically our human drives and our nature are very similar to the horse. They live in herds; we live in families and communities. It’s very stressful for a horse to be isolated or put in some kind of artificial environment. Over time, both isolation and insulation can cause physical and psychological dysfunction to both horses and humans.
Horses and humans need to contribute and to be of service. Both are at the top of their game mentally, physically, emotionally and in spirit when contributing the best parts of themselves at the right time and in the right environment or place. When leaders work with horses, they see immediately a new way to engage their teams. In the new leadership paradigm, we want our teams to be empowered and feel a sense of power. Leaders who fail to engage their teams miss out on unique insights and expertise which are critical to transformation and progress.
As businesses strive to stay on the cutting-edge during times of tumultuous change, leadership roles must be a priority. Reimagining leadership can be one of the most exciting areas of development for businesses. If you would like to explore how one of our out-of-the-box programs can benefit you and/or your team, give us a call. At Medicine Horse Ranch, we design custom horse assisted experiential programs for groups, individuals, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics.
It’s been a year of wide, sweeping changes both here at the ranch, and in the world at large. And as I look toward the territory ahead, I know there is bound to be more.
It must be understood that the call and quest for “what’s next” comes as a seed. And like every seed must go through changes, we all will be challenged with the good, the bad and the ugly. Cultivating a healthy relationship to change (rather than struggling against it), helps open our hearts wider, allowing us to feel our way as new information and experiences point and guide us forward.
The lifelong task of any personal/professional and spiritual growth is the ever evolving of who we are. Evolving also requires a simultaneous "shedding" of that which no longer serves our greatest good and highest expression. And, as you might expect, there is an ongoing tension and natural balance between these states.
Through the lens of self-development, the horse can be seen as the umbilical cord that reconnects and bridges our awareness. Through the horse’s feedback, we remember who we are, peeling away the outer layers of pretense and fear from external training and experience, redirecting us to inner wholeness and essence. Our moments of clear, authentic living are borne when our inwardness comes through and integrates with our outward experiences.
As I see it, this is the goal of all personal growth; to uncover, recover and live from this original and restored center. Horses lead us through change – from the unreal (expectation, regret, ambition, embarrassment, fear, worry) – by quickening our return to the full integrity of being.
We hope you are celebrating the changes in your life, and looking forward to the horizon of next year’s opportunities for growth and learning.
If you feel the call to explore new opportunities for self–awareness, please give us a call. Our team at Medicine Horse Ranch designs custom horse assisted experiential programs for specific groups, individuals, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics.
I have been working together with horses and humans for many years. And one of the most poignant things I’ve noticed is that creativity is amplified with horses when we humans are experiencing ourselves outside our business norms. What I mean is that we suddenly discover a deeper creativity when we work with horses. Working with horses is way outside of everyday business norms. And horses are innately intuitive and creative when working with humans.
One woman took a training with us and upon her return to her workplace she wrote to tell us that while she was gone her whole team changed! Of course, I know it wasn’t the team that changed, rather it was the way she was perceiving her team after her experience with the horses.
Stepping outside of your daily routine to work with horses results in some pretty magical changes. Some of the outcomes participants have learned and continue to enjoy on an ongoing basis as a result of our programs include:
Give us a call to explore what we have to offer. Our team at Medicine Horse Ranch designs custom horse assisted experiential programs for groups, individuals, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics.
The word ‘leadership’ can often be triggering for many of us who have had bad experiences with leaders. Often those in leadership positions make those they ‘lead’ feel dominated or suppressed rather than inspired and motivated. Observing a herd of horses can deconstruct our limited ideas of leadership and reconstruct new leadership possibilities for both ourselves and others. Here’s why:
Social Hierarchy: Horses are social hierarchal animals, each with specific roles and responsibilities in the herd. Roles are not better than or more important, rather each individual is a leader and leadership is shared.
The lead mare sets the tone and direction for the herd. She signals at the first sign of danger (environmental or predator) and the herd responds, as her leadership has been tested and tried and she has proven herself competent and wise over time.
Awareness: The horse lives in 360- degree awareness and can detect the slightest shifts in the field. The herd responds swiftly by coming together and moving towards safety and/or away from danger. What is happening for the individual, for the herd and in the larger environment are all considered simultaneously.
Cooperation: Every member contributes to the socialization of the new or the young schooling the behaviors that are acceptable and correcting unwanted behavior. The ever- present and primary goal of herd leadership is self-care and cooperation.
Intuition: Horses, like all animals rely on how they feel, rather than what they think. Often, they must make split-second decisions based on instinct, as they have never lost the ability to trust this primary navigational system.
When ‘leading’, we humans can typically ignore environmental cues thus overriding natural flow and rhythm. We are often agenda-driven, setting a pace that creates fatigue, burn out and resentment. Horses remind us of the need for self-care continually adjusting and assessing our surroundings to insure the safety and well-being of our “human herd.”
If you would like to explore and begin to incorporate an age-old, successful model of leadership into your corporate culture, please give us a call. Our team at Medicine Horse Ranch designs custom horse assisted experiential programs for specific groups, individuals, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics.
How would corporations and businesses change if, instead of merely using people, they would uplift and inspire every individual to do their best? Instead of competing to scramble to the top, what if there was an overall environment of cooperation that would lift everyone to their highest potential? What if qualities of courage, strength, creativity and willingness to take risks were consciously and actively cultivated, rewarded and encouraged?
Those are some big questions that some trailblazers in corporate America are looking for the answers to. Currently in corporate America, however, projects are usually based on the traditional ideas of goal planning and calculation. Project work is so often influenced by emotions that trigger fear, envy, resentment, dogmatism or carelessness. Communication fails because of misunderstandings: because a connection is not established sensibly, because information is exchanged before the right connection/combination has been found.
The gap between the current environment and that of a more positive future is begging to be closed.
Bring Out The Thousand Pound Mirror
This is not Snow White’s mirror. Not one that tells you how beautiful you are. This is the mirror of a sensitive 1000-pound horse. In centuries past, long before our modern, mechanized, digitized, sophisticated world became the norm, managers were trained primarily with the help of horses. Working with horses encourages all the noble qualities such as courage, strength and creativity as well as a sense of responsibility and reliability.
Working with a 1000-pound horse that acts as a mirror to one’s inner environment also teaches humility, patience and determination.
Horse Assisted Education provide a learning environment in which teams can grow together in a short time. The horses act as emotional bridges between people, in intercultural workshops even as bridges between cultures and religions. An atmosphere of cooperation, creativity, flexibility, self-confidence and purposefulness is created; and this creates mutual understanding, alignment, goodwill and common visions that continue long after they leave the ranch.
The gap between the old and the new way of conducting business in corporate America is closing. Your company could be on the leading edge of this imminent change. If you would like to explore the benefits of Horse Assisted Education for your company, give us a call. Our team at Medicine Horse Ranch designs custom equine-guided experiential programs for specific groups, individuals, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics.
A fairly new trend is emerging in the corporate world – that of creating a greater sense of balance in the lives of those devoted to the corporate lifestyle. For some companies, that means getting their employees out of the office and into nature. In other words, being put out to pasture.
This term which originally referred to horses that were no longer able to work and were put out to pasture until they died morphed into meaning in more recent years ‘to force someone into retirement’. Today, however, a new meaning is emerging. Now, for some companies the phrase literally means sending employees into a pasture with a herd of horses in order to learn how to work more intuitively and efficiently together in a team environment.
Relieving Stress While Honoring Creativity And Intuition In The Work Environment
Giving employees opportunities to improve their work/life balance through programs like Horse Assisted Education (HAE) is becoming standard operating procedure for many companies who want to inspire loyalty and curb attrition. It costs more money to retrain an employee than it does to keep an existing employee happy.
According to the National Institutes of Health, “Adverse working conditions may lead to job burnout, a syndrome resulting from chronic stress at work that is characterized by overwhelming exhaustion, negative attitudes or a lack of commitment with clients and dissatisfaction with job performance. This process may lead to undesirable consequences for workers, their families, the work environment and the organizations.”
Stress blocks our intuition and creates fatigue and illness. That causes unhappiness across the board. If you would like to explore the benefits of Horse Assisted Education for your company, our team at Medicine Horse Ranch designs custom equine-guided experiential programs for specific groups, individuals, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics. It would be an honor to help restore balance, happiness and greater prosperity to your company. We’d love to host your team in our pasture.
Earlier this month I was interviewed by podcaster and horsewoman extraordinaire, Hillary Schneider on her series entitled Women Who Run With Horses, in which we discussed the importance of horses to the collective consciousness of human beings. It is my opinion that today, women in particular are much more aligned with or attuned to the universal horse energy and wisdom. It wasn’t always that way. Men spent more time with horses in the early days of our country’s development than women did. However, today, women are the channels for this horse wisdom.
I believe it is because finally, in record numbers women are finding their purpose and redefining themselves exactly at the time that wild horses’ lives are in jeopardy.
The horse represents an honesty that we humans seem to have lately been disregarding as irrelevant. We are surrounded by so much dishonesty that we can no longer even distinguish the real from the fake. It is this condition that inspires me to say that we women can no longer dismiss or run from our intuitive information that signals and calls for change. We must lead the way to change and run with horses to find a novel way to bring us as a species back into alignment with truth.
Unlike horses, humans can think one thing and do another. In other words, humans can lie. Horses cannot. I see the human/horse connection as a signal that it is time to return to the truth underlying all creation. I am devoted to aiding in this return to the intuitive and the authentic. It is time to strengthen, not lessen, the horse human bond which has existed for more than 50 million years.
If you’d like to listen to the podcast click here
If you feel the call to explore a perhaps sudden, unexplainable interest in horses, please give us a call. Our team at Medicine Horse Ranch designs custom horse assisted experiential programs for specific groups, individuals, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics. It would be an honor to reunite you with and/or reignite your intuitive wisdom through working with horses.