To Lead a King

Horses are herd animals and live in a hierarchy. This structure is not too dissimilar to the human one.

For years us humans have tugged, pulled and yanked at horses in a vain attempt to get them to bend to our will. We even use the term to ‘break a horse’. However, more enlightened equestrians of today realise that some of the old ways of ‘conversing’ with horses were cruel at best.

Mainly because we were not conversing, we were bullying.

Surely the right way to get your horse to ‘dance’ with you is to firstly gain his respect; and this is not achieved by any amount of aggressive bullying, tugging and yanking. It is the same with us humans, one person will not respect another through force or bullying; it’s true that you might get people to carry out your instructions or you may force an action upon them, but you won’t gain any respect or love.

And when something is not coming from love or free will; then it is not a choice or intention, it’s a command being followed out; often under duress.

I am learning this from a horse called King Arthur. We have a silent conversation where I ask him to move forward. I do not move my feet first; it is for him to yield to me. I do not pull or yank his head collar; instead I let energy and intention do the work. Okay it’s not easy, and at first I found myself very frustrated, but once you disassociate yourself from emotion, and feel the energy, then King Arthur miraculously seems to know what I want him to do.

It’s a partnership.

I am respecting King Arthur’s boundaries, by not pushing, pulling or shouting. I am being a gentle parent. And it occurs to me that sometimes humans make that very same mistake with each other in an attempt to get others to bend to their will. Instead of seeing all points of view, they enforce their own opinion or way of life onto others.

True leadership, which is in effect a partnership, is not about bullying, pushing and pulling. Yes, on occasion these tactics may have a short term illusory gain for the bully, but never a long term one for anyone involved.

True union, or leadership if you want to apply such a term, involves respect, honesty, integrity, leading by example and unconditional love. You would not willingly allow someone to ‘lead’ you who does not show you any respect or care for your values or support you.

A horse told me this, so I know it to be true.