Have you ever thought about how your training or your trainers training is influencing the way your horse thinks or behaves? The attitude a horse develops about being trained can either be positive or negative. It can either be irritated and angry or calm and willing. Training seems to be approached in two different ways; with force or through teaching by being a great leader. What are the qualities of a great leader? Heres my list;
- They are clear about what they want
- They have a systematic plan and they rarely deviate from it
- They are even-tempered and fair-minded with all beings
- They aren’t afraid to have a goal that’s out of reach, it fuels them
- They are looking out for the greater good of all
- They are great teachers
- They are concerned about doing no harm to others
- They will push you to take the step to become better, to make it to the next level
- They lead by example
- They instill confidence in others
- They look for the best in others and build on that, while also helping them let go of the worst
I’m sure you can add more qualities of a great leader to this list and so could I but it’s a start and I’m sure you get the picture. The above list takes work, it probably doesn’t come natural to some, but it can be achieved and it really is the only way to approach training horses or people if you want to do something for the good of the world. I see a change in the future of horse training and I think we as trainers can help it along if we just look at ourselves first. How many traits of a great leader do you have? And how many do you think you could improve upon? And what would the results be for you and your horse be if you just put a little more effort and thought into becoming a great leader?
Or if your horse is in training with someone else how many of these qualities does your current trainer have? Could you find someone with more of these qualities? Or are you one of those people who just likes to play the victim and complain about how abusive the trainer was or is to your horse? Social media makes it very easy to focus on whats wrong with horse trainers and their forceful methods of horse training, but it doesn’t do enough to praise those trainers that inspire and build horses by teaching/training as a great leader. Those people who can influence the way a horse thinks using positive qualities may be a little harder to find, but they are out there and it is the owners responsibility to find that trainer by doing their research and checking in on the horse. In the end it is the owner of the horse that is responsible for what happens to a horse at the trainers barn.
I believe we all have a responsibility to have a positive effect on the world we live in and what’s a better way to do that than by becoming a great leader yourself. Lead by example, lead by becoming a great leader. If you are going to have a hero make that hero yourself by being the greatest leader you know.