Leadership in Horsemanship — Part III Creativity
By Dr. Mike Guerini (www.dunmovinranch.com)
In this four part series, I will be exploring my Leadership in Horsemanship philosophy. The four components to my leadership philosophy include: 1) Honesty, 2) Wholeness, 3) Creativity and 4) Safety.
We are half way through the four components of leadership so it is appropriate to recap. Part I is Honesty. In honesty we need to analyze what we can and cannot do at any given time. Sometimes we are not ready for the challenge presented by a horse — but we can learn and get ready. We also need to be straightforward in our dealings with the horses we are working with. Part II described an analysis of the Whole situation — Wholeness. In Wholeness we need to understand how our actions and those of the horse create reactions.
Part III deals with Creativity in leadership. Every good leader will admit that he/she do not always have the answer. A leader is someone who gather information and adapts to changes. So you ask — how does Creativity apply to leadership with horses.
Well as leaders of horses we need to adapt our methods and approaches to work with each and every horse. Horses are unique and as long as we use principles such as “Pressure and Release”, “Foundation training activities” and understand the “Prey vs. Predator” relationship, we should be able to find/create new ways to work with each and every horse.
While we all know that repetition and consistency help in training, we also need to make sure we are creative and keeping the horse thinking and responding to our aides and signals rather than anticipating what we want.
Here are some examples of how we can employ creativity in our horsemanship leadership:
1) Learn new methods from other people
2) Adapt/change an old method to work safely in the current situation
3) Use different exercises to help teach your horse a specific task
4) Use cross-training when teaching your horse
5) Attend a clinic being taught for a different discipline
6) Take a lesson with a new instructor
7) Ride a new horse that can teach you
Overall, Creativity in Leadership for Horsemanship focuses on the human person learning multiple ways to teach a horse something. There may be 10 safe ways to teach a horse something new — we should be creative (not boring) and learn how to apply those ten different ways.
One of the ways I continually work to be creative is that I get to work with other trainers and I also attend (as a participant) clinics taught by others. What I want to emphasize here is that for you to be the leader for your horse and to develop strong teamwork and success — you need to develop a relationship that is full of new experiences. Teach your horse something new, but expose them to many different, creative and new ways that you may ask them to perform.
Dr. Mike Guerini is a clinician and author of multiple books and you can learn more about Dr. Mike and his 6 C’s of Horsemanship at http://www.dunmovinranch.com. Dun Movin Ranch is also home to the Equine Hydro-T (www.hydrot.com).