Horses are just big dumb animals with a brain the size of a walnut right? Or are they? I used to think that horses were essentially just big dogs that you could ride - boy was I wrong! One of the many blessing that I have received as a result of owning Teddy I was introduced to Tanya Striebeck, my very own personal Horse Whisperer.
Tanya is not a large woman by anyones standards except when it comes to her presence. She is very even tempered, is a woman of few words and yet she inspries great respect in those that interact with her. Even though Tanya's not a big person she commands great respect as well as a little fear which is strange because I've never heard her yell, threaten or intimidate anyone nor is she physically imposing.
I've watched Tanya work with not only my horse Teddy but with many other horses. These vary from expensive jumpers, highly trained dressage horses and even includes her brand new 2 year old colt stallion who had only been handled a few times by humans. Never once have I seen Tanya loose her cool even in the midst of major theatrics. She always, without exception, brings out the most gentle aspects of the horses she works with.
I have to admit that there have been times watching Tanya that I've been scared and alarmed because it's so loud and 'Big'. Once I was able to get through my own fear and just watch what was really happening I realized that she really just has very clear and defined boundaries and expectations. She never once hurt the horse nor was she ever trying to hurt the horse - she was just letting the horse know in no uncertain terms what her expectations were and that yes it was in their best interests to listen and that as soon as they even tried to do what she was asking everything got immediately quiet.
Teddy respects Tanya completely to the point that I swear I can hear him think “Mam! Yes Mam!” when she’s around. He pegged me as his very own personal carrot dispenser who pampers him and loves him up. He was pushy and pretty noncompliant when I asked him to do things. Why should he listen to me when I was uncertain of what I was asking of him and how to get him to do it. I had no boundaries with him because in all honesty I was kind of afraid of him. He does weigh as much as a small car after all. By watching Tanya and really listening to what she’s been teaching me I’ve begun to understand the power that Tanya commands that I wish I did.
Tanya has very clear and defined personal boundaries which allows those who interact with her to relax because they know what’s expected. She isn’t afraid of upping the ante when the horse is not doing what she asks – she always insists on offering the ‘Good Deal’ first. She always acts with confidence regardless of what she’s doing even if she IS uncertain she doesn’t let it show. Because she is focused on the outcome she wants she is able to stay calm in the midst of theatrics. She is extremely honest so when you do what is expected life is good there’s no second guessing.
I think about what a powerful impact it would have on my life if were able to embody these qualities on a day to day basis. To have my goal so firmly in mind that I could stay calm even in the midst of chaos, to know and embody my personal boundaries to the point that it was not a big deal to get ‘big’ if I had to to enforce them. To act with such confidence that even if I was unsure of what I was doing I did it boldly and with daring.
When we establish clear and firm boundaries we no longer need to be loud and we will command the respect we desire. When we act as if we cannot fail we act from a place of power. When we stay calm in the midst of theatrics we are able to stay on target and continue to move towards our goal REGARLDESS of the chaos happening around us. When we put all these things together we have no fear of standing our ground and getting ‘Big’ if we need to. What would your life be like if you could embody these things? I challenge you to take the lessons I’ve learned from my friend Tanya – the female version of the Horse Whisperer and incorporate it into your own life. After all when you want to capture someone’s attention it’s more powerful if you whisper…..
To your Health, Wellness and Fitness,
Jennifer Malocha CEO of Fun at Wuhoo Fitness