Horses for Courses

How working with my horse has taught me to better help humans!

I’m a coach, and I love working with business people, the entrepreneurial world excites me, but what I do isn’t just a set of rules and directions that can be put on cards and read to clients, it is much more organic than that.

When we set out to help a person in the business world or in life, it is a lot like training a horse in the natural field.

With my horse I would set out with a picture in mind, “today I will teach him this at the trainers”

So, the ‘imaginary’ rule cards say

*  go get horse
*  load horse on float
*  float to training facility
*  unload horse
*  apply appropriate equipment for lesson
*  teach lesson several times
*  test that lesson is learned
*  unequip horse
*  load horse on float
*  take loaded horse home
*  unload horse
*  feed horse
*  rinse and repeat at next scheduled training

Looks easy doesn’t it?
Shame horses can’t read the script.

In reality horses are somewhat like us, emotional beings, and while their lives are far less complicated these days, being a prey animal makes them particularly challenging.

I would always have a training plan for the day, based on previous lessons and taking into account what the overall goals were, but it never panned out that way.

A training day example:

My horse is a breeze to get on a float, 5 seconds and we are up and away, until the day he isn’t!

There were branches brushing against the float, never a problem before, so why now? What I did not know was a branch had fallen on him since the last ride.

Every time I had formal training booked, I mean e - v - e - r - y time, having informed the instructor what I hoped to achieve, I would arrive at the venue and start with “well today we need to work on (float loading with branches) instead.

And that is how it is with coaching, you the client will have a branch fall on you between sessions, and I need to first find that out, and then quickly work out which strategy or tool we need to do this week.

Strangely, training with my horse aided me in developing the skills to quickly change mental tack and hit the real needs of who I am helping.

You may find the same with your clients, a product or service ‘need’ may change, the parameters that you were maintaining previously may no longer be appropriate for the market, even farmers need to adjust to the needs of the market as silo receival standards change every year.

Successful businesses address the changing needs of their clients, or horses, if that’s your thing.

Luv

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