Something to think about, one of my favorite pieces about leadership
and what it means to a horse.
"Every horse, every member of a herd, asks one question of the leader: Are you in charge or am I?
Each horse is looking for someone to lead the herd -even just a herd of two. The horse needs an answer. If you exhibit the four C's (Command, Control, Compassion, Communication), then the horse will accept you as "otancan" - the leader. If not, the horse must assume leadership over you.
Otancan is the Lakota word for "leader, the greatest". Once the horse recognizes you as otancan, he has two obligations to fulfill. The first is to follow you. In return for this, the horse expects you to look after him by exhibiting the four Cs. The horse's second duty - one many humans find difficult to accept - is to repeatedly challenge you as otancan. As the trainer, you are not permitted to remain otancan unless you consistently prove you deserve to be.
That's the octancan's burden. If you accept becoming otancan, being worthy in the eyes of your horse, you must rise to the challenge by bringing impeccability into your relationship. You develop a partnership with the horse that is free from your personal agenda, your private needs. Instead, you listen and look for the needs of your horse.'
Otancan: The Leader
( 'Zen Mind, Zen Horse - Allan J. Hamilton, 2011)
Zoë van Mourik: Equine Trauma Specialist, Behaviorist