Friday, February 11, 2011
The Power in Passive
I'm going to let this short video speak for itself--and I do hope you take a minute to watch it--it's Red leading Beautiful Girl from about 60 or 70 feet away.
I've been trying to upload The Good, The Bad and The Ugly--Cowgirl and Beautiful Mustang, but blogger keeps rejecting it. So, I'm skipping ahead to Day #4 of Beautiful back with the herd.
I'd decided to put Cowgirl away on Day #3 and #4 because the turnout was slick and I didn't want either one of them falling as they continued their chase. Plus, she's a bit on the fat side, as is Shadow, and she needed some time with us to work on her own boundary issues. This allowed Beautiful alone time with Red, Cia and Cowboy.
What I found, watching them, is that my filly, Cia, is also a passive leader. I imagine she'll be the one who fills that role when Red dies. I was so impressed with her.
A little set-up to the scene: Our pastures are subdivided, and to that point, Beautiful hadn't been in the west or the front--just the back. From my observations, horses like to maintain as much control and order as possible, so Red and Cia knew immediately, as my husband walked to open the west gate, they needed to set the tone for Beautiful to explore, but not go running through fences or otherwise acting crazy.
You'll see a few things: 1.) Red let's Cia pass through the gate, but not Beautiful, 2.) Red walks off and turns his back to Beautiful, leaving the gate fully open to her, but he is still sending quiet signals to her not to pass through. I didn't tape much of that because it wasn't until in retrospect I realized it was the most important part of the whole day of filming. It looked boring to me until I realized what was going on and how amazing it was and what it means for me. Though it's a very short clip, it lasted probably fifteen minutes or more, 3.) Last, you'll see Beautiful nip the hind end of Cia and Cia not react. This often happens, Cia doesn't react, and it in no way threatens her control or place in the herd over Beautiful. Oddly enough, it shows a different kind of strength that she's so secure, she doesn't have to react. Like, Um, that's just pathetic. (Sorry, I didn't let the video speak for itself like I said I would.)
I think this little clip demonstrates very well the POWER of passive leadership. The kind of control Red exercises is quiet--to an onlooker, it doesn't appear he's doing anything at all. Yet, he has almost total control of our mustang's every move.
Is it really so easy? Could it require that little effort from us, too, if we became passive leaders?
Do less, get more....I kind of like that.
Hey, I went to Youtube and uploaded, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly! Yay! If you have time, you might want to watch this one, too. It's a great comparison about how much energy is expended with the Alpha Mare form of leadership, and it's just darn interesting to see the mare battle. On Day #5 (after two days separated) the battle was non-existent. Beautiful's place in the herd was secure and Cowgirl didn't feel as threatened.