Building Trust: What Horses Can Teach Us About Connection

Horses are flight animals – incredibly sensitive beings. What does it take to connect and build trust with these beautiful animals and why should you care?

One of the world’s best horse whisper’s Monty Roberts shares all when he demonstrates the powerful process of Join-up (watch here).  A process shared with many from horse lovers to parents and leaders of people (including the best of the best – Disney, American Express, Hallmark).

For the simple reason…

What it takes to join up successfully with a horse is the same as it takes to join up with a person.
This assumes you want to join-up with others in a natural way (building engagement) and not use personal force or manipulation to keep others with you.

And to be clear, I am talking about deep connection.  Not the superficial type that 90% of the population settle for (including many marital couples). I am talking about heart connections, soul connections, the types that enrich your life in a much more deep and meaningful way.

How do you do it ….
• Join-up is primarily about being authentic. To be authentic takes courage. To share your true feelings is one of the most difficult things for human beings to do. It exposes you to deep fears of loss and abandonment, which may become reality when you speak the truth. If you are making someone accountable for their actions, they will generally not like what you have to say (true friends stab you in the front as Oscar Wilde states). Say it anyway and then refer to the next point.

• Join-up encourages people to leave you. Monty Roberts actively encourages the horse to go as far away as it likes. You don’t chase after people who are running from you. You let them go, particularly if they are very scared. You stay in your own space. When they come back (this may take hours, days, weeks, months or even years in some cases), the bond of trust will be strengthened.

• Join-up teaches you to work on your own energy. Horses and highly sensitive people read energy. If they like your energy they will join-up with you. A horse does not do anything out of guilt or obligation and neither should you use guilt to manipulate others to do things for you. They would only bring dirty energy to you. Martha Beck, world renowned coach refers to this as skanky ho energy. Not nice for either parties.

• Join-up, to be successful, is built on a strong foundation of intention. If you have good intentions the horse and human alike will feel it. This is true even when you are being authentic about the difficult ‘stuff’. Positive intention for others creates an environment where people are safe to learn and make mistakes. If you have disingenuous intentions, it will felt and people will disengage.

The biggest barriers for you (thereby reducing trust and connection with others) include:

Force – traditional approaches to horsemanship included ‘breaking’ horses. The horse would be beat until it surrendered to the human’s will. This approach can be used in parenting when parents hit their children to get them to abide – of course this approach only works until the child is big enough to defend themselves or hit back. It can be seen in workplaces (not beating) but creating an environment where people succumb to power for fear of being punished or dismissed. Force is used by creating fear. People are thereby not engaged and connected to you. They are there because they are afraid. There is a big difference – one enhances and expands us as individuals, cultures and organisations and the other approach weakens us built on a shaky foundation of fear and reprisal.

Sensitivity – horses join up with children and emotionally challenged (autistic/post-traumatic stress disorders) individuals much more easily because a horse knows the emotional state of the individual. If you are insensitive you will struggle to connect strongly to both horse and humans. It is possible to become a more sensitive person – often requiring the help of a professional to strip away at the layers of inauthentic armour that you have created as a form of protection. It requires living more cleanly in word and deed. It requires cleansing our lives from the inside out. The reward – more connection, deeper bonds of trust.

Letting go – you naturally want to hold on to that and those that you love. It is however, counter-productive. Grasping and clinging to those we love chastens them. To truly love another, means to let them be entirely themselves – coming and going as they please without punishing or manipulating them. Only the brave know the meaning of true love. Only the brave will know deep connection in their lives.

Are you being authentic or do you hide your true nature?

Would a horse join up with your energy or would it run the other way?

To those of you experiencing change in your life, you can click the link below to download a FREE copy of my ebook …. Change: Sail the Storms in 4 Simple Steps.

To those of you who are leading a team and want to …. Build a Fully Engaged team without the Bitching, Backstabbing and Office Politics – you can click the link below for a free video training (including the principles I used to gain Sunday Times Best Companies Accreditation engagement award).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *