Key Leadership Program
Building a Foundation Together - Leadership Through Horsemanship
Our Key Leadership Program, or the 'Clip Clop Crew,' comprises of 60+ youth horsemen in 5 different categories. They collaborate to create a supportive community of riders who build their foundation in horsemanship and leadership and help others build theirs. They learn the skills by supporting the overall delivery of the LTR 1, LTR 2, and LTR 3 levels of the Riding Program and Summer Horsemanship Camps while promoting a culture of support, safety, and belonging.
There is Nothing More Priceless then Your Child's Self-Worth
Interacting with horses can provide a unique and effective approach to address the concerns and desires parents have regarding their child's development, including those related to leadership skills, self-confidence, independence, emotional intelligence, creativity, and socialization.
Here are some examples:
Developing leadership skills:
Interacting with horses allows children to learn leadership skills through working with them. Horses have a natural herd hierarchy, which provides children with opportunities to learn how to communicate effectively, establish trust and respect, and lead the horse through various activities. These skills can then be transferred to other areas of their life.
Horses are highly sensitive to the emotions and body language of the people around them. Interacting with horses can help children learn how to regulate their emotions and body language to gain the horse's trust and cooperation. As they develop these skills, children can become more confident in their abilities to interact with the horse and feel more self-assured in other areas of their life.
Interacting with horses allows children to take responsibility for their actions and develop a sense of independence. They learn how to groom, tack up, and lead the horse on their own, which requires them to problem-solve and make decisions as they work with the horse.
Developing emotional intelligence:
Horses can mirror the emotions and behaviors of the people around them, which provides children with immediate feedback on their emotional state. Interacting with horses can help children learn how to recognize and regulate their emotions and develop empathy for the horse's needs.
Nurturing creativity: Horses provide a unique and dynamic environment that can inspire children's creativity. Interacting with horses allows children to come up with innovative solutions to the challenges they face while working with the horse. They can also develop their own style and approach to working with the horse, which encourages creative thinking.
Encouraging socialization: Interacting with horses allows children to work with the horse in a group setting and learn how to work collaboratively with their peers. They also have opportunities to develop new friendships with other children who share their interest in horses, which can encourage socialization.
Working with horses is an excellent fitness activity for kids due to the constant motion involved. Whether it's walking, cleaning, brushing, or riding, you're always on the move. What makes it even more awesome is that the fitness benefits are subconscious. You're not focusing on how many reps you've done or miles you've walked, you're simply immersed in the farm environment, surrounded by the beauty of nature and animals. It's a great way to stay active without even realizing it!
Critical Thinking & Hands On:
Working with horses is an excellent way to develop motor skills, concentration, and critical thinking in kids. When working with these animals, there are many factors to consider at once, such as body language, balance, and movement. Each factor has a consequence, which encourages kids to pay close attention and think critically about their actions. Unlike many other activities, working with horses is hands-on, meaning that there is no opportunity to zone out. This constant engagement helps kids develop their motor skills, improve their concentration, and hone their critical thinking abilities.
The 1000 Pound, Furry Solution to Your Child's Leadership Development
It's amazing how a small child can build a relationship with a 1000-pound horse through developing leadership skills, self-awareness, and practice. This process requires trust and respect, built over time through consistent interactions and positive reinforcement.
By developing skills like communication, problem-solving, and decision-making, children learn to effectively communicate with the horse. They also learn to recognize and regulate their own emotions in response to the horse's behaviors. Through practice, children gain confidence, which leads to a deeper connection with the horse.
This process is empowering for children, showing that they can influence their environment, even with a much larger animal like a horse. It builds self-confidence and self-esteem, as children trust their abilities and judgment.
Overall, a child's ability to lead and communicate with a 1000-pound horse is a testament to the importance of early leadership skill development and the power of relationship-building. It's an inspiring example of how children can overcome challenges and achieve incredible things through practice, perseverance, and positivity.
Learn and Lead Others
Learning leadership skills through interacting with horses is already a powerful experience for children. However, taking on a learning assistant role at Clip Clop can magnify and intensify the adoption of leadership traits, while also helping others build their own leadership skills.
Being a leader is one thing, but practicing those skills while leading real live horses and humans who are also building their foundation is a powerful experience. It provides an opportunity for children to put their skills into practice in a real-world setting, while also mentoring and supporting others.
Through this experience, children can solidify their own leadership skills while also helping others build theirs. This can lead to a deeper understanding of leadership and its role in creating positive change in the world for horses and humans.
Overall, learning leadership through horsemanship is a powerful experience in and of itself. However, taking on a learning assistant role at Clip Clop can further enhance this experience and provide children with a meaningful way to practice their leadership skills while also making a positive impact on others.
Understanding the Mystical Relationship Between Bulls & Horses: Learning How Not to Bully
We want to clarify that while our program is primarily focused on horsemanship and leadership, we are aware of the issue of bullying and its impact on our youth.
As an ambassador and guide for youth, Clip Clop is committed to addressing the issue of bullying prevalent in our society. Both "bullying" and "getting bullied" are equally awful experiences that can have disastrous ends if not resolved. But, interactions with horses can contribute to the resolution of the bully situation in our youth without the rider even knowing it's happening.
Our Clip Clop Crew bring to us story after story about bully situations they created, endured or witnessed and seek ways to govern & extricate themselves and provide solutions regarding the bully issues.
Clip Clop is compelled to explain how interactions with horses, guided the right way, can contribute to the resolution of the bully situation in our youth.
The Bull and the Horse
It's true that there is a mystical relationship between bulls and horses. Horses and bulls have a long history of working together, but it's not always easy. Bulls are rather lazy, often resistant and quick to respond with aggression, including very threatening posturing such as horn swinging, dirt throwing, snot flinging, and charging at the horse with horns aimed straight at their hearts. While these behaviors may scare a human clean out of their minds, and rightfully so because they can be catastrophically dangerous, a well-led horse knows how to navigate the situation and respond appropriately without getting itself and it's rider seriously injured or killed.
Bulls are natural bullies, and it's interesting to note that the term "bully" actually originates from their behavior and dominant nature, as they try to assert their dominance over other animals, and even humans, in their environment.
Horses, on the other hand, are naturally passive and have an innate grace and strength that makes them resistant to bullying. When bulls try to bully horses, the horses respond with appropriate maneuvers that show the bull that bullying is not necessary to get along.
This relationship between bulls and horses provides a powerful lesson for children about the importance of standing up to bullies. Horses show us that we can resist bullying without resorting to negative behaviors ourselves. By developing self-awareness, self-confidence, and assertiveness, we can become like horses and stand up for ourselves (addressed below) and others in a way that is strong, graceful, and respectful.
As a matter of fact - that's exactly how they teach us to interact with them!
Interacting with horses is a unique and effective way for children to learn about leadership, respect, but also about anti-bullying. Through their interactions with these majestic animals, children can learn valuable life lessons about the importance of treating others with kindness and respect, and the consequences of negative behaviors. Horses teach the difference between aggressive and assertive behaviors.
Powerful Lesson, con't...
Horses have a natural hierarchy in the herd and human/horse social structure that does not tolerate bullying behavior which interestingly enough, includes at equal degrees of them (the horse) not being allowed to bully a rider, and they provide instant feedback to the riders who may be struggling with assertiveness.
It absolutely disorients a horse when a rider, who is higher on the natural food chain, tries to be a follower to a horse. In the natural order of things a horse is considered a prey animal to a human who is considered a predator.
Not only do horses call out bullying behavior from their riders, but they also challenge riders who may be too submissive or passive. Horses need to know that their riders can keep them safe and make good decisions for them (especially in a human environment), and they constantly test their riders to see if they are fit to be their leader. This means that riders who tend to get bullied themselves are also given the opportunity to come out of their shell and stand up for themselves in the right amounts and in appropriate ways, to stop others from bullying.
The "are you fit to be my leader" test/question that horses ask over and over requires riders to develop self-awareness, self-confidence, and assertiveness. These are essential qualities for leadership and personal growth, and they can help riders to overcome their fear of being bullied and to stand up for themselves and others in all areas of their life.
No Shame or Blame - the Horses have it Handled
Clip Clop is committed to addressing bullying in youth through interactions with horses. The horses take care of the issue without any need for human leaders to explicitly discuss it with the riders. It's not about landing blame or shame on the "bullied" or the "bullier" but about personal leadership and self-worth: the horses have this handled.
Interacting with horses with the right guidance through our Key Leadership Program is a powerful and enriching experience that can have a lasting impact on the lives of those who participate, and a testament to the transformative power of horses and horsemanship on our youth.
Earn While You Learn
Through the LA leadership role at Clip Clop, Riders "earn while they learn" by entering into a fair exchange for their efforts. The Riders earn discounts towards their riding lesson fees based on the number of shifts they complete in the Riding Lessons and Summer Camps.
This system deepens the value of becoming a leader by teaching them the importance of investing in themselves. By being remunerated for their efforts, Riders gain an understanding of their innate value and worth, which boosts their self-esteem and confidence. They also learn about the two-way street of service and remuneration, and the importance and accountability of showing up and
giving their best effort.
The pride and self-empowerment that comes from a fair exchange of giving and receiving is remarkable. As Riders take on responsibility and invest in their own education, they develop a sense of ownership and pride in their accomplishments.
Clip Clop Crew Community
The Clip Clop Leadership program is more than just a leadership program - it's a way to build a community of leaders who share a passion for horsemanship, personal growth, and animal welfare.
By approaching the horse with the right mindset and leadership qualities, Riders in the program are making a positive impact on the lives of horses through Clip Clop that affect horses everywhere.
Through this community, Riders deepen the connection to the Clip Clop community and the horses who call it home. The program creates a sense of solidarity among Riders by tying together the Riding Lessons, Summer Camps, and Leadership components into one cohesive experience.
The Riders who participate in the Leadership program serve as mentors and role models for other Riders, creating a positive and supportive environment where everyone can learn and grow together.