Friday, February 25, 2011

Ten Commandments of (Horse) Leadership: Part 2

Weather: 38-41F with intermittent rain and blowing mist
 Egg count: 9

...continuing on with the ten commandments of leadership and how they apply to our relationship with horses:

#2: Practice What You Preach

  • Stand for something good and noble
  • Walk the talk (he's not the only one who needs to be fit, flexible and balanced.  I need to stick with yoga.)
  • Follow ALL the rules and regulations (would those be Brett's barn rules???)
  • Solve problems rather than "celebrate" them ( "celebrate" -does that mean encourage them?  Buy into them? For me, it's bridle wars.  When Jackson gets worried and throws his head up, I need to let him move freely forward and work out of the fear.  Me hanging on his face makes it worse.  It doesn't solve anything.)
  • To be dedicated to learning and continuous improvement (NO problem here.  I'm a lesson and clinic and book junkie.  I love to learn - its one of the coolest things about dressage.  You never get there - you are always learning).
  • Deal with disappointments and setbacks constructively (I think I do fine.  I pat Jackson, put him away, and get pissy, whiny and downright cranky with Brett. ...yeah, I could do better with this one.)

#3: Communicate with Care and Conviction

  • Start with the end in mind (for me, keeping my goals present in my brain)
  • Focus on quality, not quantity (sometimes we stop after 20 minutes if Jackson does something really, really well and I want him to ponder on his brilliance)
  • Listen with care (like when he says his back hurts.  Hey!  Mom!  My back HURTS!  ...I can be so dense sometimes.)
  • Keep it honest and real (I guess I need to accept that we will never be FEI material)


  1. I'm liking this series - thanks for putting it up!

  2. That focusing on quality not quantity, we hear it a lot and start to take it for granted--but it's so, so important. I'm taking piano lessons and it's taken me two years to understand the concept of quality practice and really believe in it. If I spend my whole practice session on two or three measures, it can turn a piece around for me. I used to think I HAD to play it through. I suppose the same thing could be said for horses. These are wonderful to read and meditate on how to apply them to horses. Thanks.


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