Bend: Respect


The horses at the ranch are not worked in the traditional cowboy style but more so in the horse whisperer approach. Recognizing that horses are deeply sensitive and these horses in particular have already suffered extensively, the ranch works with them in a respectful and gentle manner. They use a flag to visually signal to the horses a limit. They guide the horses, not drag them, into areas they work. They pay close attention to the horses who need a break, or need more attention.

They help teach the children of working with the horses in the same manner. Realizing that the old model of breaking the horse’s spirit was seen as the only way to create a relationship, they have embraced a very different model. These horse’s spirit does not want to be broken, but empowered and engaged. Their spirit is indeed what provides the healing and love and freedom of their greatest healing gifts.

Gandhi once said you can judge a civilization by their treatment of animals. By respecting and providing compassion to theses horses, everyone else is also treated with deep respect and love. There is not a hierarchy of priority of who gets to be respected but a bottom line that all are and that makes all the difference.

What happens when you take a value such as respect or compassion, and instead of creating a vertical line to determine who deserves, you make it a horizontal bottom line that declares all created deserve? What happens to your approach to others and life?