At the time of this writing, Jodie James, Travaasaʻs resident cowboy and lead wrangler, is on his way to Colorado to qualify for the Senior National Finals Rodeo world championship in Las Vegas. Jodie is a multi-generational master horseman, having spent many years drawing from Native American methods of communicating and working with horses to hone his skills.
When you meet Jodie, his calm, friendly vibes make it clear why people – and horses – are drawn to him. His rodeo success and decades of experience certainly make him a skillful cowboy, but it is his demeanor and energy that allows him to connect with his horses and establish trust as a leader without using words.
There is so much that can be learned about communication styles from an afternoon with Jodie (his masterful wrangling skills, however, may take a bit longer…), which is why he’s begun to share his techniques with groups.
Jodie and his assistant wrangler Jennifer have developed two team building activities to take advantage of what these highly intelligent social creatures can teach. Forget trust falls – these new experiences can be life changing to those with an open mind. Groups will have the opportunity to work hands-on with the horses in the arena. This is usually way out of peopleʻs element – great! Often, when we are uncomfortable, we learn the most.
Each of the equine activities requires group members to guide the horses using non-verbal communication. When a horse isn’t cooperating, the activity facilitator will invite participants to check in with themselves and identify where the miscommunication began.
Horses are extremely attuned to energy. Their reactions are equivalent to taking a close look in the mirror for self-reflection. In other words, what we may assume are quiet thoughts to ourselves during a meeting might just be written all over our body language. This exercise helps to improve our self-awareness and identify how we can improve communication both individually and with our team.
Groups as small as six people can participate. Ready to plan the ultimate team getaway? Learn more about the equine experiences from our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travaasa’s horses are a lucky bunch – exposed only to positive reinforcement techniques and communication practices based on how they communicate with each other in the wild. Thanks to this, they retain their pure, natural curiosity and enjoy cooperating with humans.