Using Horse Sense To Learn About The Four Agreements – One Woman’s Journey at Medicine Horse Ranch
In a recent retreat for Type A Women Executives, one of the participants, Nellie Alkap, wrote about her experience. It was posted on huffingtonpost.com, and I am sharing a portion of her article and experience to help bring greater understanding to the process of Equine Guided Education (EGE).
Horses perfectly mirror our emotions. This is difficult for people in leadership positions to fully grasp until they are immersed in the paddock with the horses.
The program Nellie enrolled in was The Equine Guide to The Four Agreements, based on Don Miguel Ruiz’s popular book published in 1997. She offers a glimpse into how she felt and reacted during the process.
- Be impeccable with your word. Most of us strive to do what we say we’re going to do and genuinely believe in what we’re doing. I learned that we can be more effective leaders by ensuring our inner emotions are in line with our actions. I found I personally needed to work on this. During the retreat, the horse I was paired with wasn’t initially interested in greeting me because I was trying too hard; I wasn’t authentically me. As soon as I relaxed and felt wholly in the moment, the dynamic with the horse changed dramatically for the better.
- Don’t take anything personally. When our group went to the observation area to view all of the horses playing together, I found myself getting upset and frustrated that my horse was greeting some of my colleagues rather than me. I took it to heart at first, thinking the horse didn’t like me. What I learned is that it wasn’t about me, nor was it due to anything that I did wrong. The horse simply needed its space and some time away to engage and interact with others. This made me realize that people also sometimes need some room to disconnect. It’s nothing personal—it’s simply human nature.
- Don’t make assumptions—ask questions. During the retreat, at least in the beginning, I was guilty of drawing my own conclusions about the horse’s behavior. These assumptions were often dead wrong. I found that by asking my human coach questions, I gained the insight necessary to understand what the horse was communicating through its actions. As a leader, I think we sometimes feel like we know (or should know) all the answers. But we don’t. We need to ask our team questions and learn about what motivates them, frustrates them, brings them job satisfaction, and so on.
- Always do your best. I believe this is one agreement that I’ve had a good mastery of before, and the retreat helped reinforce its importance. By consciously giving my full focus and energy to the program, I feel I received optimal value from it. Whenever you give 100 percent of yourself to an endeavor, you make it worth your while and show respect for others’ time.
You can read Nellie’s entire article at (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-saddle-up-and-be-a-more-effective-leader_us_59401049e4b094fa859f1bfd)
Custom equine-guided experiential programs can be designed for specific groups, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics. Please contact the office to schedule a personal consultation