Written by Shawn Carlin, Horse Empowered
Some of my most favorite times are times spent with my horse. Don't get me wrong, I love my time with my wife, my children, my family, my dogs, but there is something special about the moments I have had when it's just me and my horse. Why you ask? It is in these moments when I have been most connected to the truth.
Being "authentic" has become a buzz word in today's society. It is "en vogue" for sure. You can't go to a yoga class, read a book on personal development, go to a leadership seminar or even many horsemanship workshops, without hearing the word authentic. The reality, or maybe the irony of this is that being "authentic" or "real" has never been a more challenging thing to do in our society. Our reality has never been more fabricated or packaged than it is today. Never, have we been in a time where projecting the best version of ourselves to millions through social...
"Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming oppositions- such as lifting weights- we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity." - Steven Covey
At the root of human behavior lies what is called the “pain and pleasure principle. Many, if not all our choices are guided by the decision to either avoid pain or gain pleasure. Jim Rohn, one of my favorite mentors on personal development had an interesting way of looking at the pain and pleasure paradigm. Jim felt that we all must experience pain on some level. He asserted that in any situation, we have a choice. He said, "We can choose the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The pain of discipline weighs ounces, the pain of regret weighs a ton.”
For example, if you are trying to lose weight you can choose the pain of discipline for yourself and make decisions like eating healthy foods and committing to working out consistently. ...
What is more important to have when partnering with your horse, horse smarts or horse sense? Put another way, is it more important to have intelligence or trust? Perhaps both?
A "human" study was conducted by Amy Cuddy, psychologist at the Harvard Business School, on the topic of first impressions. She found that in human interactions, upon first impressions, people answer two primary questions:
* Can I trust this person?
* Can I respect this person's capabilities?
Cuddy found that 80% to 90% of the first impression is based on these two important traits. Interestingly, the research shows that trust is the most important factor. All too often, it seems there is a premium placed on the importance of competence, IQ or intelligence. Cuddy's research shows that in order for competence to matter, people must have a level of trust. In addition, if there is no trust, competence actually works against you.
What does this have to do...
“The best moments are when you are alone with a horse, because that is where truth abides.”
- Allan J. Hamilton, Lead With Your Heart
I often speak to the correlation between horsemanship and leadership. The inspiration for the Horse Empowered™ Programs was rooted in the discovery of what challenged me in my career and in my life were the same things that challenged me in my relationship with my horse. Leadership is influence, in its simplest definition. Leadership and horsemanship are elegantly aligned because both require an awareness of how we influence the outcomes we desire.
At the core of effective leadership and horsemanship is the concept of Trust. Trust is foundational to the success of any relationship, including your horse. When trust is high, relationships of all kinds can be fluid, built and sustained. When trust is low, communication breaks down and relationships can be destroyed quickly. In Stephen M.R....
I recently attended a church service with my family at our community church. We began a new series called #trending which tackles modern and often difficult and divisive issues such as politics, social media, immigration and race. The discussions attempt to provide perspective on how these issues are viewed within the Bible and how we can apply the understanding of our faith to these challenging issues.
The topic today was about politics, a most divisive topic in our culture today and a difficult topic to tackle in front of a few hundred people in the audience who most certainly have different personal views on politics. Rather than try and “convince” those in the audience which side is correct, the pastor began with what everyone in the audience felt was common ground, as Christians. In any negotiation, finding the common ground is a critical place to start.
Here are the 4 “Universal Points of Agreement” the pastor...
"For one to fly, one needs only to take the reins."
~ Melissa James
In the book, The Confidence Gap, by Russ Harris, he lays out a foundational concept to assist in our understanding of confidence.
The action of confidence comes before the feeling of confidence.
I often see people stuck in a state of unhappiness and unrest due to a lack of confidence. They are not reaching the levels of success with their horse because somewhere along the way, they lost confidence in their abilities.
“If only I felt more confident, I would be able to accomplish that better…”
“As soon as I get my confidence back, I will be able to do that again…”
"When I get my confidence back, I will get back on the horse again..."
Each of these statements makes the assumption that we need to...
"Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls. They give us hope!"
~ Toni Robinson
If you have been around horses long enough, inevitably you have had an experience that has shaken your confidence. Perhaps it was a bad fall, a bucking incident, a bolting incident or your horse just continues to act out despite your best efforts to move forward in your training. All these scenarios can shake your confidence and leave you feeling helpless and afraid and maybe even questioning your horsemanship competency.
Maybe you have taken a break from your horsemanship endeavors because the demands of life have temporarily pulled you from your horse passions. Work, kids, family, you name it, you feel out of touch and out of practice causing a momentary...
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