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spike bullet September 2006 - The Power of Thought

Horses and the Power of Thought
How to Apply These Techniques in Business Settings
Resources (links, books, articles, the lighter side)

color bulletThe Power of Thought

This month we have a dear friend as our guest author talking about her experience in working with horses.  We've added a section about how you can use similar techniques in business.  

Horses and the Power of Thought

By Leigh Shambo

It is sometimes said, and always true, that it is not WHAT we think but HOW we think that makes the difference.  In this new age of horsemanship, where we can learn to work with the horse’s mind instead of forcing their bodies, the value of this statement is proven time and again.  The art of "horse whispering" is really the art of accurately perceiving and creatively thinking about a particular horse in a particular moment, letting intuition guide us in choosing actions and methods that gently guide the horse into a collaborative training experience.  This art depends just as much on letting the horse teach us what he needs, as on communicating to him what our desires are.

Horses are so sensitive to and perceptive about our non-verbal thoughts, intentions and values that in many moments it truly seems that they are reading our minds — often even better than we know our own!  The following story illustrates simply and clearly the power of our thoughts to change the training equation.

My riding student Becky had been working with a quick, expressive and impetuous Arabian named Jazz.  Becky had a bit of fearfulness about riding Jazz and liked to check out his compliance level by longeing him prior to riding.  Becky is an experienced horsewoman and her longeing techniques were well-honed.  On this particular day, Jazz was responding to all of Becky’s signals with accuracy — changing gaits and making turns precisely on cue in response to Becky’s well-practiced methods.  However, his defiant head tossing and an occasional tail swish made Becky wonder if things would go smoothly once she mounted and began her ride.

I could see that Becky’s technique was effective, so I began questioning her about what thoughts she was having as she longed Jazz.  She reported, "I want him to do each thing I ask and to do it promptly when I ask.  I want him to accept me as the leader."  When I asked if there was anything else, she said, "Well, I want him to be … happy about it!"

I asked her to observe Jazz and tell me what he wanted from her.  A long pause ensued as she watched him.  Finally, she said just one word — "Harmony."  I suggested that Becky not change her actions or her method just hold the word harmony foremost in her thoughts, just ahead of accuracy, timing and obedience.  Almost instantly, Becky was rewarded by Jazz’s relaxation and a softening in his eye and facial expression.  On his now quiet head, she could observe his ear rotating toward her in eagerness for her next command.  His tail no longer swished in irritation, it lifted a bit and swung gently in rhythm with his gaits.  Within moments Becky said eagerly, "Now I know — I feel — his readiness for me to ride!"  Even I was amazed at the power of one thought, held firmly in the rider’s mind, to produce such a dramatic change in this horse’s attitude and demeanor, instantly!

This experience took place several years ago and since then I have pursued training and education about the mental, emotional and energetic aspects of our bond with horses.  When we deepen the bond by affirming and attending to the horse’s ability to know what is in our mind, we become aware that our own barely conscious thoughts and values impact the relationship.  When we learn to work creatively with this knowledge — magic happens.  In fact, the magic is so palpable, so profound, that the effects extend well beyond the horse arena and into all of our relationships and even our dreams for ourselves.  By attending specifically to the invisible reality of our thoughts, feelings and unconscious conditioning we create a bond of understanding that enhances and illuminates whatever actions, methods and techniques we choose.

color bulletTips: How to apply this information to business settings

It may seem at first that "whispering" to horses has nothing to do with business.  However, the power of our thoughts, our emotions and our attitudes in dealing with others is greatly underestimated.

Studies have proven that teachers who see students as bright and articulate often find their students are bright and articulate, while teachers who believe their students are under-achievers will also find their students are under-achievers.

Some specific examples of how to try these techniques when dealing with others in business settings:

  1. Before a meeting to resolve a conflict, set the intention that all parties will arrive at a mutually beneficial solution.  Hold this belief firmly in your mind during the meeting and tell the parties that you expect a beneficial solution to be the outcome.  Keep repeating your positive intention mentally and verbally even if it seems that the meeting is going in a different direction.  Afterwards, continue to hold the thought that there will be a mutually beneficial solution.
  2. Before meeting with an employee about a discipline issue, set your intention that you will both arrive at a workable solution that can be implemented.  Tell your employee this at the beginning of the meeting and continue to hold this thought during the meeting.  Keep repeating your positive intention mentally and verbally even if it seems that the meeting is going in a different direction.  Afterwards, continue to hold the thought that there will be a mutually workable solution.
  3. Before meeting with your boss about a proposal, set your intention that you will both leave with a clear understanding of the best way to go forward.  Tell your boss your intention when you start and continue to hold that thought during the meeting.  Keep repeating your positive intention mentally and verbally even if it seems that the meeting is going in a different direction.  Afterwards, continue to hold the thought that there will be a clear understanding of the best way to go forward.
  4. Before going into a staff meeting, hold the intention that all issues will be resolved to the mutual benefit of all attending the meeting.  Hold that thought during the meeting and express your intention verbally as well during the meeting.  Keep repeating your positive intention mentally and verbally even if it seems that the meeting is going in a different direction.  Afterwards, continue to hold the thought that there will be a mutually beneficial solution.
  5. Before dealing with any uncomfortable situation, set your intention that the result with be peaceful resolution with all parties coming to agreement.  Continue to hold that intention and repeatedly remind yourself of your intention. If things seem to be going in a different direction, bring yourself back to holding your intention in mind, no matter how difficult the situation becomes.
  6. Before confronting someone you don’t particularly like, set your intention that you will come to a mutually beneficial conclusion.  Hold this thought during your negotiations and remind yourself and the other person(s) of your intention if necessary.  Even if things seem to be going badly, continuing to affirm your intention until the situation is completely resolved.
  7. When meeting with a friend, partner, spouse, colleague or someone else close to you, set your intention that the meeting will be peaceful, harmonious and you will both (all) leave feeling good about what happens.  Hold this thought during your meeting and afterwards, even if it seems that things are not going as well as you had hoped.

These seemingly simple techniques can achieve powerful results.  What have you got to lose in trying them?  We have used these methods many, many times and seen almost miraculous changes in the way situations turn out compared to the potential for explosion, disruptions and harmful outcomes that might have existed before.  Over time and with practice, you will find that you will naturally expect the best outcomes and the best will happen for you and for those you deal with.  

color bulletAbout the Author 

Author Leigh Shambo, MSW, is a clinical therapist and educator whose first career was horse training and instruction.  Leigh is widely recognized for her articulation of the horse-human bond and its application in therapeutic and learning programs.  She is the founder and lead therapist for Human-Equine Alliances for Learning (HEAL), a non-profit charitable organization that supports equine-assisted services and programs for healing, personal growth and riding/training.  Her website is www.humanequinealliance.org.  More information and educational opportunities are also available through Epona Equestrian Services, www.taoofequus.com

World Wide Web graphic  Internet Resources

book graphic  Books

  • Let Your Goddess Grow! 7 Spiritual Lessons on Female Power and Positive Thinking, Charlene M. Proctor.  The Goddess Network Press, 2005.  ISBN 0976601206
  • The Women's Book of Empowerment, Charlene M. Proctor.  The Goddess Network Press, 2005.  ISBN 0976601214
  • The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale.  Ballantine Books (1952, Reissue edition 1996) ISBN 0449911470
  • The Power of Positive Thinking in Business: 10 Traits for Maximum Results, Scott Ventrella.  Free Press, 200.  ISBN 0743212371
  • How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life, Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton.  Gallup Press, 2004. ISBN 1595620036

world wide web - articles  Articles

Related newsletter articles:
    November 1999 - Workplace Energy Dynamics
    November, 1997 - Learning Flexibility

smiley graphic  The Lighter Side  

  • Big things are expected of us and nothing big ever came of being small. .. Bill Clinton
  • A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”  .. Winston Churchill
  • The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible. ..  unknown 
  • If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.  .. Mary Engelbreit
  • Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results. .. Willie Nelson
  • It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts. .. Robert H. Schuller
  • No one can ever overcome anything until his thoughts are creative and positive. .. Norman Vincent Peale
  • A positive attitude can really make dreams come true - it did for me.  .. David Bailey
  • Quotes about Attitude http://www.quotegarden.com/attitude.html

About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.   We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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Page updated: October 05, 2013      
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The 10th Need: Mischief    :)

| Home Page | Top of Page |

| Barbara Taylor | Books | Clients | FAQ | Feedback | Interesting Links | Mailing List |
| Michael Anthony | Michael Teachings | Newsletter | Personality Game |
| Products | Services | Speakers | Spirituality | Training | Travel | Translations

| Contact Us | Search the site | Site Map |

The 10th Need: Mischief    :)

© Copyright 1980  -  2015,  Barbara Taylor               Copyright Notice and Student Research Requests                 Privacy Policy and Legal Notice