A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of traveling to Utah with The Nomadic School of Wonder to learn from a herd of wild horses. They live at Windhorse Relations, an organization dedicated to providing care and stewardship of the horses, learning from them, and giving others the chance to experience the power of connecting with the herd.
On the first morning of the experience, the organization’s founder, Mary Lee Brighton, strode into the center of a round pen with a jittery horse named First Star. Mary Lee held a frame drum encased in a deerskin pouch. As she entered the pen, First Star’s eyes widened and his nostrils dilated.
Mary Lee explained that horses are prey animals. Anything unfamiliar represents a potential threat. Since the drum case, with its dangling tassles and odd jangly sounds, was new to First Star, he was understandably anxious.
She moved around the pen and First Star did everything he could to put maximum distance between himself and the drum case.
Over the next hour, Mary Lee worked with First Star, helping him conquer his fear of the threatening drum. In the process, she offered a master class not just in working with horses, but also in leadership.
Here are five lessons gleaned from the heart of the horse:
After Mary Lee’s demonstration, a group of us started chatting. We were teachers, writers, parents, healers, and students. The lessons had resonated with each of us differently. I saw parallels in my healing and coaching work. A teacher spoke of her work with students and how their body language is not unlike First Star’s. A mother simply looked at us with a mixture of amusement and despair. ‘What have I done to my children,’ she asked.
As the sun set and the Windhorse Herd wound down their day, I found myself wondering what would happen if everyone in a position of leadership had the opportunity to spend the day with Mary Lee and her horse-friends. And, as always when I get to spend time community with the natural world, I was reminded how much wisdom lives in the non-human world and waits there patiently to be rediscovered.
If you're interested in experiencing the magic of the Windhorse herd, head over the The Nomadic School of Wonder and joint to find out about future trips to Utah!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.