The importance of this was really brought home to me on a two and a half hour horse trek around Runaway Bay, Jamaica in April of this year.
It was one of the most memorable holiday activities and, I have to say not something I was particularly looking forward to, but it did make me appreciate the importance of really knowing your team, the individuals, their strengths, foibles and moods.
So without further ado let me introduce you to the six horses that we were paired up with:
- Winston: – the alpha male who carried ‘Uncle Tim’
- Verbena: – the alpha female who carried me
- Bunny: – who carried my daughter
- Pretty Boy:- who carried my nephew
- Shi’a ne: – who carried my sister Jackie
- Xxxxxx:- who carried my sister Bianca
I want to pass on my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to these six horses and our two guides. We were six largely inexperienced and, at the start, nervous riders, except for Bianca and ‘Uncle Tim’.
So, on the 17th of April 2014, after ten minutes of instruction about going left, right and generally getting the horses to move – we set off riding’ cowboy style’. There were no hard hats or other safety gear available. We were in the hands of six on the whole extraordinarily well behaved and patient horses.
From the owner’s point of view, he had to know which horse was best to lead, which two to keep apart. As it happened, Verbena and Winston weren’t getting on too well that day (Verbena did seem intent on ‘winding’ him up).
The owner somehow managed to match each horse with the right person, especially as our party included two youngish children. This was a big deal for me as I was focused entirely on Verbena and, therefore, not in a position to provide any genuine assistance if needed. We had to trust the horses and the owner’s judgement and skill in handling his team.
We had to rely on and trust in the experience and patience of his six horses so that they would convey us safely through scrub and bush.
So, in my view, any organisation that can develop this level of trust and knowledge within its teams is doing well.
Until next time
PS Though I’m afraid not one of us can remember the name of the sixth horse.