Confidence and our leadership has to be the horse’s choice
You can’t demand a horse (or a person for that matter) to be confident and trust you
If it is to mean anything, it has to be a choice.
This means pacing things for the particular horse that you are dealing with.
It’s always the horse that sets the pace, we shouldn’t try to force things into a timescale.
Often a horse will tell us we need to go slow and deliberate. Trust their judgement, don’t get frustrated
Taking their advice will get you where you want to go much quicker than you imagine, and the journey will be a lot better.
Our role is to set things up in order to help our horses willingly make the choices that we would like.
We offer our leadership and they make the decision on whether it is a choice they want to make.
If they don't take our offer, then we just need to accept responsibility and work on presenting an improved offer, as well as ourselves as better leaders.
Horses want to delegate to a leader
Horses want to relax and delegate responsibility for their safety and security - most horses are natural followers.
But their caveat is that the delegation needs to be made to a leader they have measured as qualified and feel they can trust – it’s a survival decision.
Leadership is a privilege and a responsibility
Whether with horses or people, leadership is a privilege that carries responsibility.
As potential followers, our horses are being asked to entrust us with their well-being and we need to demonstrate that we are worthy of that honour.
There are no shortcuts to establishing a solid basis for our leader-follower relationship.
The steps towards our goal need to be as small as they need to be, at a pace governed by the horse, not our own agenda.