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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Horse Riding Teaches Us Guide vs. Control Life and Work

Horse-riding isn't about control. As a matter of practice, the more you try and control the more difficult it becomes to ride safely and effectively. As you stiffen your body and try and over adjust to the horses's movements you are unlikely to achieve the same performance as if you were to sit back and guide. Control...is a beginner's mistake.

There are some parallels to management and life. We must allow people in our lives to make their own decisions and then guide them when they start to move off of track. For example, when trying to follow a line to a point in the distance with a horse sometimes it will move off of that line and it is necessary to use your outward leg, create a barrier with the outside rein, and slightly pull with the inner rein to put it back on track. You only need to do this for a second and the horse will move back on track.

People are very similar. If you are a manager and want people to perform at their best then let your employees know what needs to be done and give them enough slack to get it done their own way. When they start to move off of track guide them back on just for a moment and then let them do their thing. Like horses they will slowly learn the expectations, performance requirements, and be able to have enough freedom to traverse their environment.

A few tips on riding horses:

1. Tensing your body will give the horse the wrong signals.
2. Continue to practice with the same horse until you have a "connection" where the signals are understood.
3. Allow your body to be lose in the saddle.
4. Praise your horse on a regular basis.
5. Your reigns should be the guide for the head but be lose when not correcting.
6. Learn to ride without stirrups.
7. Be willing to relax and let go of control

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