Want to Become a Better Rider? Take Notes From the Business World
By Guest Author: Dorothy Watson
We often think about horses and business as mutually exclusive, unless we’re contemplating the ugly side of the horse industry — the one in which horses are a disposable product, not the partner. Yet if you shift your perspective, you’ll find there are key takeaways that riders can glean from successful business management practices.
If you want to be more successful in the arena, consider the following business concepts:
Start With Your Definition of Success
Many people describe success in pretty black and white terms. When talking about a business, they might relate success to profit margins. When talking about equestrian competition, they might discuss titles or ribbons.
But StructureM explains that if you really want to be successful in the world of business, you first need to answer a question: Why do you do what you do?
Business owners might answer by clarifying what problem they solve for consumers, or by defining their contribution to the greater good of society; their answer doesn’t really boil down to dollars or profit margins. As an equestrian, you might say you became a rider because you value the feeling of being one with your horse, or because you enjoy interacting with a large sentient being; it probably doesn’t boil down to awards.
How business owners answer that question will help them plan and organize their path. Answer that question for yourself, and it will help you frame goals that lead to your success.
Patience and Perseverance Are Part of Future Success
As ZenBusiness explains, businesses don’t become profitable overnight. A business can be legally formed in a matter of hours, but the journey to success is a long haul. It requires goal setting, personal development, and managing behind-the-scenes tasks on a daily basis. And some of those tasks might be tiresome, menial details. A business owner might take out the trash, just like an eventer might muck stalls or do hours of groundwork, but those seemingly low-end chores are a necessary part of the bigger picture.
Healthy Communication Encourages Engagement
Employee engagement is crucial to a company’s success, and healthy communication practices can make or break engagement. Engagement stems from what employees do in their roles, how they think about their duties, and how they feel about the part they play — which all stems from how information is communicated to them.
For an understanding of one’s role, leaders must provide adequate information. To foster trust, confidence and credibility, leaders need to listen to their staff members. For a culture in which each person feels valued, management must develop relationships. And the same things could be said for how you communicate with your equine partner. Be the leader, remember communication works both ways, show your horse respect, and work on that relationship to ensure your partner is willing to give you his or her best.
Competition Provides Opportunities for Growth
Competition serves a purpose in the business world. It helps to develop standards, provides motivation, promotes creativity, and drives growth. Businesses often innovate in response to competition. AutoJini points out that it’s through competition that businesses define what makes them special. It’s their chance to determine what it is they do well, what unique qualities they bring to the table, and what special purpose they serve. Through competition, a business owner might discover a fresh product or service they didn’t expect to offer, or they might realize something they tried is a failure.
Similarly for equestrians, competition is an opportunity for assessing what we do well and what makes us stand out from the crowd. It’s also a chance to do some problem solving, assess our goals, and to think creatively about our training methods. Sometimes we learn something is working well, and sometimes we learn that something we tried isn’t working at all. Regardless of clean rounds or ribbons, though, there are always opportunities for learning and growth that come from competition.
Working with horses brings with it some important life lessons. In fact, the way we view them and our interactions with them is intrinsically woven into our outlook on life. By shaping your mindset towards positivity, performance, growth and grace, we can enhance our relationships with them, improve our outcomes, and find success on all fronts.
Is your horse as healthy as can be? Visit HorseTemperament.com and HolisticHorsekeeping.com for high-quality Holistic Horsekeeping information, products and horse temperament-balancing formulas to help you create a better partnership with your horse.
Unless otherwise attributed, all material is written and edited by Madalyn Ward, DVM. Copyright (c) 2021 HolisticHorsekeeping.com and Madalyn Ward, DVM. All rights reserved.
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