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Learning from the Wisdom of the Herd



One of our biggest challenges as a collective is to re-discover what it truly means to be a human being... and from there how to live together in harmony with all other life forms including the earth.


Horses show us how.



Focus on the collective


Horses can only survive if the herd survives. Their first preoccupation is the collective, the "we". Not the individual. They will first look at being part of the herd, and only then, become an individual... in service of the herd.


As human beings we have had the tendency to do the opposite. Consciously or unconsciously, we have had the inclination to strive for achieving individual identity and significance as a priority over - and at the cost of - the collective.


With the consequences we all know.


Horses instinctive priority is to focus on strengthening the herd, their mutual connections and the overall organisation within the herd.


They are genuinely in service of the whole.



Authenticity


Horses are prey animals. They are wired to detect subtle inconsistencies in their environment as this may mean great risk for the herd.


In their interaction with human beings, they will natural pick any incoherence between actions, words, thoughts and feelings, either conscious or unconscious. They will react and point to contradictory behaviours and in particular, discrepancies between what is shown (outer world, behaviours, field of the conscious) and what is really experienced within (inner world, thoughts and feelings, field of the unconscious)...


In short : BS doesn't last long....



Systemic perspective on reality


Because of their instinctive focus on the "we', horses are naturally in service of the whole. They will detect, show and carry anything that is not right in the system they are in connection with :

  • what is going on and not seen or acknowledged,

  • the order that is not respected,

  • areas of unbalance within the team or between the team and its environment,

  • where energy is blocked in the system, representing a risk for the system and/or some of its members.


Relevance for cultural, organisational and individual development


Because of who they are and how they instinctively operate, horses can be very impactful in cultural development, leadership development, team work, and personal healing and growth.


They are quick, direct, to the point and without judgement. They operate from a pure, instinctive, no-mind state showing things are they are in the present moment. And the movements required for a better.


Horses herds are interesting to observe. They are a good source of inspiration on how to resolve at the cultural level the individual-vs-collective dynamics with and within a given environment.


Horses will naturally look for leadership in a group and assess it for trustworthiness as a matter of security for the herd, From this a leader can learn a lot about his posture, his leadership style, the impact he has on his team, his areas of development as well as his areas of strength.


Horses will naturally pick on what is not working in a team (the leadership issues, the so-called "elephant in the room", the inconsistencies and areas of unclarity, the difficult relationships putting the team at risk,....) They will also point to possible solutions and offer a space where alternatives can be tested with instant feedback.


For individual work, horses are great allies to help identify unconscious patterns and show ways to resolve them for personal healing, development and growth.


This field has greatly benefited from the remarkable work of Ruud Knaapen ( Wind - The Netherlands) who continuously contributes his personal experience, insights and wisdom.




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