Many of you know that we live in a rural village, 56 houses, no pub, no shop. By birth though, I’m a townie.
On the way to the tip today a massive black horse came cantering towards us, riderless. So I jumped out of the car and headed towards the horse, desperately trying to remember the rules. All I could remember was, never approach a horse from behind, and show them who’s the boss. So I walked up to the now slowing horse, rubbed his nose and started talking to him, trying to untangle the reins and get hold of him at the same time.
It was just like Laura Turner says when she runs her Equine leadership programmes (www.eponapeople.co.uk). Horses instinctively pick up on our leadership styles, whether we are confident or nervous, autocratic or democratic. I reassured the horse with my tone of voice (I don’t speak horse!), took charge of the situation and made it clear to him what we were going to do, which was to wait for his poor rider, now wiping mud from her helmet and hobbling along the road.
Amazingly she said, ‘thank goodness you’re a horse person’, which up until then I wasn’t. At all. In fact, the nearest I’d come to a horse was riding a donkey on the beach at Weston-super-Mare in the 1970s.
Moral of the story? If the situation needs someone to take charge, it doesn’t always need to be the expert.