How do you deal with nervous clients? This is the question EVERY corporate client wants the answer to, and we're glad they ask.
Horses aren't everyone's first choice of leadership trainer. For many they are perceived as big, scary and dangerous. This might be because they have never met a horse before or they have and it was bad experience for them.
So here's a fun fact for you, I am also wary of a horse I have never met before.
It's true, I am!
They are big animals, have their own mind and we need time to get to know each other and build trust.
Challenge by choice
Which is why in our programmes we operate on a challenge by choice basis, and do our horse-human introductions slowly at a pace everyone (horses and facilitators included) can handle.
No-one learns anything when they are scared.
Our programmes are about authenticity, not bravado, so we model that every step of the way - creating a atmosphere and space for that authenticity to happen.
If a participant needs to be outside the arena for the whole session, so be it. They can still be an active participant and contribute whilst watching and learning from the others. Plus for the group, this is a great learning point. It's not only in the world of horses that people get scared, humans are fearful of all sorts of things and it's good to know how to handle that.
The reality however, is our slow steady approach, excellent facilitators and calm horses rarely produce an issue.
Take the image shared. It was one of our one day attendees that had never been close to a horse before. They spent the morning observing the herd and the rest of the group's interactions with the herd before setting themselves a goal to touch one of the horses before the end of the day.
Squirrel was the perfect horse for the job as she's our quietest, smallest, most nurturing pony.
Overcoming a fear and doing something you didn't think you could do is a big leap for people that has ongoing ramifications beyond the day itself.
So yes, people do come to our sessions afraid of horses and we roll with it. We use it as a learning aid and we create space for change should they wish to change their relationship with that fear.