Which type of relationship and control do you want to have with your horse, a Leader or a Boss?
Would you rather have a Boss or a Leader?
I should start off with some clarification on how I differentiate Boss and Leader.
It is popular in the corporate and business world to consider multiple different types of leader, but for this discussion I keep to just two very simple stereotypes.
I will refer to them as a Leader type and a Boss type.
You will likely be able to identify experiencing both types in your life to some degree or other:
A Boss type person is someone that takes command authority by virtue of his or her title and rank:
- They have the power available to make your life difficult and uncomfortable, to apply as much pressure as they like to try and force performance as they want to see it.
- They can demand obedience regardless of whether you believe in them and their motives or not.
- They own you while you are at work for them.
A Leader type person is someone with the ability to influence others to follow by choice:
- They may, or may not, have any dedicated seniority but they inspire performance to shared goals.
- Trust and commitment are built in response to their actions, motives, and consideration of others.
- Their lead is followed willingly and with confidence in their capabilities and agenda.
Your horse and you are a team
When thinking about how I can best be for my horses I think of our partnership as a close knit team.
Teams work best when team members are self-managing within boundaries and guidelines that keep them working positively to common goals.
As with any team...
- I don’t want to be micro-managing my horse or shutting it down.
- I do want my horse to have confidence and to take responsibility.
- I do want to be supporting my horse to develop and leverage their potential.
- I do want work to be a positive, meaningful, and fun experience that engenders enthusiasm and commitment.
So, imagine yourself as a member of a team.
You have the option of having either a Boss or a Leader…
Would you rather have your discipline and performance enforced through obedience to pressure, or freely given in response to the nurturing and considerate guidance of a caring Leader?
Which would bring out the best in you, promote a good attitude, and encourage your partnership and enthusiasm?
I suggest it would be the Leader.
I believe, if allowed, the horse would always choose the Leader option too.