Maverick is my horse and you may be thinking why oh why does he get his own page? Most horse people are crazy and will find a way of working their horse into any conversation HOWEVER this is not the only reason he features here. He has been an important part of my journey – a long lost dream buried in stuff. And a large portion of the money that you pay me will end up as manure in his paddock so it seems only fair you get to meet him. It is possible that I am the only one that thinks I am funny.
Moving on…the meaning of Maverick is an “unorthodox or independent-minded person” and both my horse and I are free spirited nonconformists. This makes for an interesting relationship and he has taught me a great deal, a lot of which has helped me in business.
Some of the greatest lessons he has taught me are:
- To be less hesitant and more provocative, less passive and more assertive, less unsure and more confident.
- Variety is the spice of life – a bored horse or human can be very unmotivated.
- Stay focused and not allow anything to distract me – as a leader I cannot allow for my attention to be drawn away from my focus. If I expect him to be fully focused on me I must be fully focused on him.
- Don’t waste time becoming frustrated. Frustration usually occurs when you run out of knowledge, or you set goals that are too high. In the moment rather say “How interesting!” and that will help you be less reactive, less emotional. If you get emotional with horses they loose trust and respect in for you.
- Follow my instincts, take my own advice and don’t ever let ego get in the way. Get off your horse the moment it crosses your mind. What other people think of you is none of your business.
- Around horses, when things go wrong we should always look first to ourselves. After all, the horse was fine until we showed up. Blaming something outside of ourselves, the circumstance, the horse, the weather etc is disempowering because the only thing we truly have control over is ourselves. By taking responsibility the power is in our hands.
- Never give Maverick something to brace against, drift with him so that he doesn’t feel claustrophobic and fight for his freedom.
I have learned these important lessons with the help of the Parelli Program. I never dreamed I would learn so much about myself and am so grateful for this journey.
The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” Buck Brannaman
I have a friend who actually runs a business using her horses to teach leaders about leadership. Truly fascinating stuff. See more at http://horseplay.co.za