Yesterday I took part in a Horsemanship seminar. I never felt too comfortable with horses (or any animal other than dogs for that matter). While we were standing near the horses and Tony was pairing a horse to each of us, I noticed that one of the horses is different. Bigger, black, stronger looking. I was thinking to myself, I hope I get one of the smaller looking horses. Well, you probably guessed it, I got that horse. Jim is a 34 years old horse. Big and strong. I was humbled to stand next to him. Tony explained to us how to earn the trust of the horse and then also how to earn the respect of the horse. It wasn't easy but I was able to lead Jim and even trot with him a bit (Tony warned me that he might not trot at all as he is too old).
During the session Tony was talking about our communication with the horses and so many times I was doing the connections with my training, with the classes I teach. You see, there is no much difference between gaining the trust of a horse and the trust of a student (or a co-worker for that matter). Horses (and for some degree people) can feel your energy, can feel your emotions. You need to be able to relax and control your emotions and to be able to be assertive, believe in what you do and show your energy.
It was a fun morning and I'm glad to say that I feel better with horse but I also have some thinking to do on how I behave at the kwoon and at work.