Episode 86: The challenge of change – a conversation with Ginny Telego
There is a difference between recognizing change is needed and actually making a change. Today’s guest, Ginny Telego,
outlines why change can be so challenging.
Click for transcript
Announcer: [00:00:03] Podcasting from a little cabin on a hill. This is the Stacy Westfall podcast. Stacy’s goal is simple to teach you to understand why horses do what they do, as well as the action steps for creating clear, confident communication with your horses.
Stacy Westfall: [00:00:22] Hi, I’m Stacy Westfall, and I’m here to teach you how to understand, enjoy and successfully train your own horses. This is season eight, which I’m calling conversations with Stacy. Today, I’m talking with Ginny Telego. You might have heard Ginny and I talking in Episode 50 where we discussed Work Life Balance, or Episode 59, where we discussed a “bad riding lesson” experience that I had. But if you haven’t been introduced to Ginny, let me tell you a little bit about her. When we met, it was because she asked if she could hold an event here in my barn. Now, officially, she teaches experiential learning using horses, but I’m frequently changing up the way that I introduce her because it’s really interesting. So she teaches leadership, team development and individual coaching, but she tends to use the horses in a lot of the teaching. The session that I watched her do in my barn was interesting because she gave a group of people a task to do with the horses. And full disclosure, it involves minis. So of course, I was super happy and she sent them out to do this task. And then when she brought them back to discuss the experience, she’s really, really good at getting people to relate the experience, they just had with other things that they’re experiencing. And that one happened to be around business. So it was really, really neat to watch how she did that. I like talking to Ginny because she helps me put into words some of the things that I know from experience. So I hope you have that experience listening to today’s podcast. In today’s podcast, Ginny and I discuss a model for change. And, you know, change often comes with a challenge. And she kind of breaks it down for us. First, she’s going to explain the model that she’s using, and she explains it to me, and I kind of walk through it with her, making sure I’m clear. And then I start asking a lot of really interesting questions. And I think that’s when it gets kind of fun. So let’s take a listen.
Stacy Westfall: [00:02:35] Hello, Ginny.
Ginny Telego: [00:02:37] Hey, Stacy.
Stacy Westfall: [00:02:39] Well, thanks for joining me, and as usual, I’m like, this is my good friend Ginny. I can have very long conversations with her about all kinds of interesting things. And today we’re going to try to try to keep it slightly focused on to kind of the core of what your work is, I guess, which is you help people uncover limiting beliefs and challenges and the thought patterns that can keep them, you know, maybe stuck or get in the way of them. Yeah, reaching the next level. Is that how you would kind of vaguely phrase it?
Ginny Telego: [00:03:13] Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a perfect description of what I do.
Stacy Westfall: [00:03:17] And I find it fascinating because you use the horses in the work that you do. So you often bring people in that are not that familiar with horses, a lot of times, because they’re–
Ginny Telego: [00:03:29] Most of the time.
Stacy Westfall: [00:03:30] Most of the time. And so that naturally puts the people in an uncomfortable situation. And then you’re able to kind of unpack and kind of talk about the different things they experience. So we’re going to do kind of a audio version of some of this talking today, correct?
Ginny Telego: [00:03:49] Yeah, yeah.
Stacy Westfall: [00:03:50] Per game. So…
Ginny Telego: [00:03:51] I’m game, let’s go.
Stacy Westfall: [00:03:53] Yeah. And so what I guess I’d like to do is just to make sure that everybody who’s listening is kind of tracking along with us. I know that we had discussed the–the one model that you use for change that we were gonna kind of use on this podcast a little bit. What I’d like to do is put it into the context of something kind of maybe black and white, like let’s say somebody has been recently bucked off from a horse and now they’re like, OK, I have a problem. I need to get help. So can you walk us through this change model that we’re going to talk about in this discussion before we go into my many layered version?
Ginny Telego: [00:04:37] Yeah, definitely. Well, you know, there’s there’s a lot of organizational change models out there. And–and I don’t really subscribe to any one in particular. I think it’s just really good to be aware of kind of the process that needs to happen in order for us to to–to move into change. So this model that we’re going to talk about today is called the ADKAR model, and it’s from a company called Prosci. And there’s five components to it. The first is awareness, which is that an awareness that we need to change something. Next is a desire to engage in the change. And then we want to gain some knowledge about how we can change. We want to make sure we have the ability to actually implement those things that we get from the knowledge and then reinforcement is a really important piece to–to ensure that whatever change we’re making, it sticks because we can all attest, I think to at some point in time, setting some New Year’s resolution that back in January, we’re going to change, we’re going to change our eating habits, we’re going to change our exercise habits, whatever those are. And then at some point in time, we don’t have a mechanism for really enforcing those things. And so we kind of revert back to our old patterns. And so I think that might be a good way to frame it.
Stacy Westfall: [00:06:11] Yeah. So if I run that–if I run the bucking example through this, let me give it a shot. And you coach me through it. So let’s say that I’m the one that just got bucked off that that is an opportunity for awareness. I’m going to guess so that that would put me into step one, probably. And then the number two, the desire to participate in the change that.
Ginny Telego: [00:06:36] Right.
Stacy Westfall: [00:06:36] Would that be where there’s almost a fork in the road? Sometimes we see where people either have a desire to go find somebody to help them or they just kind of get out of horses? Would you find that…is that accurate?
Ginny Telego: [00:06:49] Well, I think they think there’s another component to it, which is to just go back and keep doing whatever you are doing and, you know, say, oh, that horse was bad or whatever that–whatever that thought process might be. And because that’s gonna–there’s gonna be resistance, really, to doing something differently. Certainly stepping away from it might absolutely be a choice that someone makes at that point because there’s not a desire to really engage in doing something differently.
Stacy Westfall: [00:07:24] Mm hmm. Yeah. OK. So the awareness– and again, this that makes sense because backing up to step number one being, awareness, you could get bucked off and not have an awareness. That tends to be like at least when people come find me, they’ve already made it to like step three because they had some kind of awareness. They just made a decision and have a desire to change. But I like that you slowed me down on that step, too, and said, you know, they could actually just kind of loop back without the awareness there. You know, they could just kind of participate again. So that desire to change. So we’re–we’re saying that this–like, say, I get bucked off. I have an awareness that this hurts and I have a desire to change it. And so I decide that I’m going to start looking. So that’s that typically for me, as the professional that I am, that’s typically where a lot of people will reach out to me looking for knowledge. Right.
Ginny Telego: [00:08:23] Right. Mm hmm.
Stacy Westfall: [00:08:24] And then…anything to add to that step on the way, walking through this bucking thing? Because..
Ginny Telego: [00:08:31] No, I think that’s that’s. Yeah, that’s a pretty clean step, I think.
Stacy Westfall: [00:08:35] Ok. And then the ability to implement the change. That one, let’s see if I can get this–if–let’s see if, if I’ve got this in my mind. So to me, when I look at that one, I think the ability to implement. So let’s say that they show up. I’ve got knowledge and we start discussing what’s going on. And I find out that, you know, this is a really, really green, inexperienced horse that’s, you know, got a lot of fear stuff going on. And we have to have a talk about, you know, is this something…So I think that that ability and that required, you know, to me, when I’m coaching people like somebody who got bucked off and is going through this, there’s kind of a physical and a mental side to that for that reality piece. Because, you know, I openly say–like I mean, hopefully I’m going to live…let–let’s say I live to 100. I won’t be starting colts, I’m fairly confident at some point, you know?. So I am aware that my own physical limitations will be changing at some point, as I age, as to what I’m willing to do. So a lot of times I have that conversation there. And so there’s the physical ability. And then there’s also the mental desire, you know? Because I’m constantly telling people, you know, you don’t have to start a colt to be a complete horseman. Like, it’s not–it’s not a requirement. Like it’s if I want to. You want to. So is that the ability stage kind of there?
Ginny Telego: [00:10:08] Yeah, definitely. I mean, because we can we may go out and seek knowledge from somebody, but if we don’t have the ability to implement it for any number of reasons, then it’s that’s really not going to affect change. The change that we want anyway, right? I mean, if you are working with someone who is not recognizing that you have some emotional pieces that need to be also addressed in, you know, being able to move past, being bucked off the horse, that you could gain knowledge about things you can do with your horse–riding and different other technical skill kind of things–but if you aren’t at a place mentally where you have the ability to implement those things, then, yeah, you’re just going to go home and you’re going to end up back with, what do I do with my horse?
Stacy Westfall: [00:11:12] Mm hmm. Yeah, I like how you just phrased that, like the technical skills, because, yeah, a lot of times the the technical skills are definitely a piece of it. But if you don’t have the awareness, then you can carry a lot of tension in your body, which is going to show up in the next thing that we’re gonna run through talking about–the idea of a spooking horse. But before we jump over there, let’s finish with the final step, which is that reinforcement to ensure that the change sticks. This is an interesting one for me, because I find that that’s where, for sure, like an accountability system, I see it best when people are are repetitively engaging with us. Like, so if they are, you know, coming to multiple clinics or if they’re coming to multiple lessons or if they’re going to horse shows and showing there’s some kind of a cycle of that. But I–I know people can create it in different situations. Like I guess what I’m thinking here is that reinforcement. I see it a lot of times as the professional where somebody is cycling back around in that professional version. But I would imagine you can also do it in any kind of an accountability system as long as this is an accountability–kind of system, what are you thinking there?
Ginny Telego: [00:12:40] Yeah.. I think what you’re talking about is absolutely true as far as people coming back and being able to have you and Jesse say, wow, I can really see a change in how things are going with you and your horse. That’s a great reinforcement. I think any type of reinforcement where we’re able to get some kind of feedback from someone that I think that helps us to say this is where I was, this is where I’m at now. And especially when we can have someone besides ourselves be able to give us that feedback, that then reinforces everything that we’ve done. Right? If–if I’m a client of yours and I’ve come to you with this challenge and then I come back, you know, you give me homework, I go home and I implement all these things, and then I come back and and you say to me, wow, I can really see a change. You know, you’re more relaxed and your horse is happier and and, wow, this is really good. Whatever you’ve been doing is working well. There’s a much higher chance that I’m going to go home after that and say, excellent. Now, I’m going to apply the new stuff that I learned. Right? Because you have reinforced for me that this process that I went through, which could which probably was painful at some point because, you know, change is very often mostly uncomfortable and growth is rarely pretty. And so if you reinforced to me that all of that stuff that I put into changing has–has accomplished the change. I’m going to then be wanting to do more of it. Right. I’m going to say, wow. So really, it was really hard for me to have to admit that I needed help. Right. Or for me to have to admit that I you know, that I wasn’t able to get right back on my horse like I used to or something like that. So when you can reinforce for me that that all of those steps that I took and and the the personal growth that I invested in it has had the effect that I wanted, right? Which is the change. I’m going to be way more likely to say. All right. That was worth it, you know?
Stacy Westfall: [00:15:25] Yeah. Now, do you think–this is kind of just–do you think that when…do you think people are aware of these steps? Like, I’m looking back over my life. Here’s what I’m doing. I’m listening to you. I’m looking at this model for the first time and it seems like. You know, sometimes we stumble onto this, sometimes we don’t. I mean, because obviously this model’s like outlining what works and but–but how is that…how do you think it works? Because I’ve noticed this. I’ve noticed this about me last week on the podcast. I was interviewing a lady, Suzy, who was talking about starting riding again at the age of 57. And one of the things that she brought up that I’ve really been reflecting on is the difference between the version of me or in her case, which she was talking about herself as a rider in her youth and then herself as a rider, starting riding again at age fifty seven. And the difference between, like, almost the spontaneity of youth and–versus the–I’m just gonna put it, like, the heightened awareness that can come with, like, you don’t bounce if you fall off. And this might happen because this is a very large horse and maybe you don’t feel quite as…whether it’s invincible or athletic or all of the above. As, you know, as you age some, I’m going to wrap a couple of things into this and then let you untangle–untangle what you want out of it, because there’s this–there’s that thought that’s in my mind from doing that interview and then me thinking back and being like, wow, that was the spontaneous me. And I’m way more likely now to slow down and look at a model like this now than I was in my youth. And yet we stumble around kind of in our youth and discover some of this. This is just a way more intentional version now that we’re, I’m guessing, open to, since we don’t want to bounce on the ground as often. Or how do you see? How do you see people–discovering this or coming to this or, yeah, I guess help me out here, Ginny.
Ginny Telego: [00:17:43] Yeah, well, I think what you’re saying is all absolutely true. We go through this cycle all the time. And–and I think a lot of it is at some point in time, though, we become resistant to some piece of this. And usually our resistance is to the desire to engage or participate in the change. Because we can easily become aware of the fact that what I’m doing isn’t moving towards my goal, which is awareness. And–and so the differences… You know, I think some of it is personality probably, too. Some people are very willing to to say, OK, I need to do something differently. And so I’m gonna start with me. Right? I’m going to start–I’m going to look at what can I learn? What kind of knowledge do I need? What sort of skills do I need? You know, what is it that will help me move through this process in order to get to a place where I can–where I can apply some learning and have someone come back and say, wow, you did a great job. You can–I can tell you really been working at this. There’s a point in time, too, I think some of it is probably lifecycle related, that we.–we don’t want to be the ones that have to change.
Stacy Westfall: [00:19:28] That totally fits. Like this is–what I’m hearing you say…This is where some of the, what’s wrong with my horse? I need a new horse.
Ginny Telego: [00:19:36] Right.
Stacy Westfall: [00:19:36] Is this where some of these can loop in here? Because…
Ginny Telego: [00:19:39] Definitely. Absolutely. Absolutely. I think that’s probably the most prevalent place that that shows up in in our horse world, is that it’s the horse. It’s not me. And certainly, I mean, I think there’s obviously there’s times where that’s true that perhaps, you know, for whatever reason, you know, the horse maybe isn’t as far along in its training as maybe it needs to be for someone’s, you know, for someone’s level of horsemanship skills, things like that. But it is far more prevalent to to blame the horse when, you know, when things aren’t going right and when you’re not getting the results that you want. And so to me, I think being able to have this awareness and some of this comes around to also, you know, you and I have had some other conversations around the change model that I use a lot in my work where we look at what are our beliefs, perceptions and assumptions about situation and how–how that goes through a cycle of impacting, you know, what we do and the results.
Ginny Telego: [00:20:54] You know I think that the way for us to really create the change that we want in whatever we’re doing is we have to be willing to stop and look at this sometimes to stop and say, OK, what’s really happening right now? And I think there is a way to make like this–this model, these five steps in this model or whatever you might be utilizing as a transformational model, that the more you do it, the easier it gets. Right? And the more that you get positive reinforcement, the better it gets and the more likely you are going to do it. So I think you’re absolutely right that we we go through this kind of haphazardly sometimes throughout our life. But the reality is, is that, you know, this comes really back to just learning about how to how to exist as children. Right? You know, a kid whose kid does something and they don’t get the result they want and they go, huh? OK, that didn’t work. So, you know, then you have the opportunity to do something differently. And–and, you know, a parent comes back and says, well, what you’re doing isn’t working. And so if you would like this to happen, then you need to change what you’re doing. And if the child doesn’t have the desire to engage in changing what they’re doing, they’re going to continue to get the same result that they don’t like.
Stacy Westfall: [00:22:37] Hopefully.
Ginny Telego: [00:22:38] Right? Yeah, hopefully. Hopefully not always. But–but that usually is the way it happens. So, you know, I think just I say that only because you’re–when you’re describing that of, you know, well, aren’t we kind of doing this? And I would say absolutely, yes. But I think when we have a specific goal that we’re trying to achieve and we’re getting stuck in in that process, it can be really helpful to have a way to sit down and say, OK, what’s my awareness? Right? What what am I doing that maybe isn’t helping me move forward, you know, and you kind of–you can map out. OK, here’s what I’ve been doing this–and this is working, this is–OK, Oh! Here’s what I’m doing that’s not working. And–and then you can move to the next step and you go, OK, well, how important is this goal to me? Right? How important is it for me to achieve this goal, to take my horse on a trail ride, or take them to the horse show, or whatever that is? Because that’s when you actually get to make the choice and say, OK, you know what? I really would like to go be able to take my horse on a trail ride. And I’m willing to step into the uncomfortableness of having to learn how to do something differently.
Stacy Westfall: [00:24:04] You know, it’s interesting. So something you said earlier that’s–that I found interesting was the…you mentioned the–the label. Like sometimes the horse really is the problem. You know, the idea that maybe the horse’s training level doesn’t line up with the rider’s train–like needs for having horses minimally trained, at least to this certain level. So you can actually, like to me, you know, if you want to draw it as two separate bubbles and like this horse, the horse has an education that goes up to like, you know, maybe like the third grade. But the–but the rider needs a horse that’s at least that like, you know, the safety level of like high school. And it’s pretty kind of you know, it’s just easy because if they make a mistake, it’s not going to scare the horse because horse is like, oh, yeah, it’s fine, because the horse can kind of cover it. What’s interesting, when you were saying that the thing that came to my mind is, the verbal–the way that that is verbalized probably matters. Meaning, if you have the awareness that it’s a decision based on like my current–my current level of riding requires a horse with this current level of training is different than, this is a bad horse.
Ginny Telego: [00:25:27] Right.
Stacy Westfall: [00:25:28] And so there is more ownership on that on that one where you’re acknowledging your level of riding and the horses level riding and the mismatch that could be there. And so that was kind of what when you were when you’re talking through that, I was like, oh, that’s a because I–Yeah, that that does sound completely different to me than what–than the other one, which was, you know, this horse is no good or a problem or the other ways.
Ginny Telego: [00:25:58] Right. Yeah. And I think that’s where being able to kind of have a systematic way of looking at it. It can be helpful, you know, because, to me, that sort of takes out some of the bias that might exist somewhere in that in that conversation you’re having with yourself, or with your trainer, or whoever, is–is really being able to look at it a little more objectively, you know, and and then be okay with it. Because I think we beat ourselves up all the time, you know, we think, gosh, I shouldn’t feel this way. You know, I–I should be able to just get back on and go do whatever or, you know, or, and then we start to say, well, why why am I feeling this way? You know, why is this bothering me so much? And so, you know, being able to have a way to sort of walk through that process I think is helpful. And it’s also sometimes helpful to have somebody else help you walk through that process, because it can be hard when you’re trying to do it yourself. And I know–I know in my own experience of having similar types of things happen to me, you know, that having, having someone else who I respected and who respected me, you know, respected my level of expertise, be able to kind of walk me through why…why would it happen with my horse who is all of a sudden kind of creating this–this block for me when, you know, when I’d had similar things happen before, it was very helpful to have someone else sort of walking me through this. This sort of process really helped me become aware of what was happening, what I was thinking, how my thought processes were coming into play. And so I…I think it’s just a matter of really being open to that process, you know.
Stacy Westfall: [00:28:09] Yeah. Open to being uncomfortable and going through the process. So what I want to roll into is I–it’s like I think you phrased it a little bit earlier, but like the awareness is often the easiest step. You know, you’re like you’re like, here’s something needs to change.
Ginny Telego: [00:28:27] Right.
Stacy Westfall: [00:28:28] But I think on top of this, sometimes when I look at these models like this sometimes and I’m just going to phrase it the way that it kind of comes to me and then we can kind of like, see, whatever that sounds like. But the way it almost–sometimes when I’m looking at these models, I’m like, it’s so sterile. It doesn’t really work in life. It’s like…and I’m at the same time, I just told you a few minutes ago, like, obviously it works in life because it feels like it just, like, lives underneath the flow of natural life. But I think what I’m trying to put words to here is the idea of a lot of times when we’re doing stuff, there are almost–it is for me anyway, and I’m going to use an example–but there are a lot of times these two opposites going on at the same time. And I think this is where it starts to feel a little bit trickier. So the example I want to put on the table, because I’ve mentioned it in other podcasts and stuff and, you know, I see it as a possible–like we could look at it as a stage of training with Presto, or we can look at it as a little bit of, again, like kind of his a little bit of his temperament. So it’s probably a little bit of a crossover of both because I’ve had horses who are very secure. And so the topic is kind of spooking or startling or jumping depending on the day. And and so and so there’s this idea that Presto is at a stage of training. I mean, he’s to me, he’s kind of over the hump. But I think people would be surprised sometimes if they’re seeing it versus hearing me say that. So I think when I say on the podcast, he’s kind of over the hump. They’re like, oh, it must be just all happy, golden. And no, it’s not. But it’s over the hump because of some other things I can pick up on. So before I go super deep into that, when I’m looking at this model and I’m looking at this idea of awareness, it’s like, OK, so I’m aware when I get on Presto, that I simultaneously need to be aware that the stage of training and who he is right now means that he’s more likely to have a startle moment happen. But inside of that, I’m trying to stay relaxed in my body, but I’m trying not to deny that that could happen. And to me, this is where I’m not sure the best words to use it. But there’s this almost balancing of two opposites, like the knowledge that he might jump more startle or whatever.
Stacy Westfall: [00:31:05] To be clear, because I want to make sure whoever’s listening, because sometimes it’s clear in my mind and then I realize there’s not really a videotape running for anybody to be watching. So, you know, the first…early on in this training, like the first time he kind of spooked there was a major like thing being dragged around. Somebody was driving around behind the outdoor arena, I mean behind the indoor arena, and you couldn’t see it. And it was this banging noise and it was all this weird commotion. And he kind of, he startled and actually went, let’s just say he went, I don’t know. Let’s just say he went 10 feet or something. And, and so there was a–there was an actual large movement. Well, the actual large movement has now gone down to like a shudder to like kind of like…a shudder to a loss of rhythm. So it’s, to me, it’s very much more controlled. But it’s also a little bit there still. And it’s, you know, it’s not always as clear as like something banging and dragging outside the arena. But for me, the reason I’m saying it’s OK is because I can feel…I can feel why it’s going on, because he’s having–he’s having his own model of this going on in his own mind. And you’re absolutely right. He really is. And he’s running through the awareness of me on his back. But then what happens for him is he’s got the awareness of the horses at the other end of the arena. And that day the awareness of the truck and trailer going around and the awareness of the tarp in the corner that he, you know, like every once in a while is like, what is that? And what he does is this switching gears thing–kind of sends a shudder or the desire to go back to like flight or fight pops up.
Stacy Westfall: [00:32:52] So I realized that this is not something to, you know, punish him for or anything like that because he’s literally like–he’s literally on this process of learning how to think through these things like that. But for me, but for me, it is, for people, I think, sometimes looking at these models that are like–I know I do it–like I’m aware of the of the issue. Like, let’s say I want to go on a trail ride and and I’m anxious about going on a trail ride. To me, that’s very similar to like the idea of me getting on Presto and having these two opposites. Like how do I stay relaxed in my body and also have this–what could be called–like this–this defensiveness. How about we just put it there? Because sometimes it feels a little bit like defensiveness. And I think this is where people have such an opportunity with the horses to feel the connection. One thing horses have taught me immensely is that the mind body connection, because I can try to convince myself that I’m completely fine. But my body will tell on me.
Ginny Telego: [00:34:00] Absolutely.
Stacy Westfall: [00:34:01] I can say positive affirmations and feel like, it’s OK. I’m all OK. It’s OK. I’m all OK. And there’s a part of my body that’s like, no, your force is not…you’re not going to–you’re not going to bounce well. Do not do this.So it makes me want to be more congruent because of that that disconnect that I can feel going on there.
Ginny Telego: [00:34:25] Right.
Stacy Westfall: [00:34:26] So let’s unpack this a little bit around this idea of those two opposites and maybe using one of these models.
Ginny Telego: [00:34:37] Yeah well, I think, again, I think this comes back to just the back into this desire to engage and participate in the change process. That our brain sometimes creates resistance because our brain is always trying to keep us alive. I mean, that’s that’s really the job of our brain over anything else that it does. The main job of the brain is to keep us alive. And so we have a pretty–a pretty sensitive threat response. And so when you’re talking about this, being aware of what could happen, right? That he could spook, he could do something, whatever that is, and then–try then–but then saying, well, but I need to relax in order if–if I want to help him be feel more confident or I want to try to help him to not spook, I need to be more relaxed. Well, if your brain is in threat mode of saying, you do realize that if he spooks and you fall off and you get hurt, you’re going to not be able to pay your mortgage. Right? That can–that’s going to create a pretty powerful resistance in you to be able to just go, no big deal. I’ll just relax. Everything will be fine.
Stacy Westfall: [00:36:11] Right.
Ginny Telego: [00:36:12] I’m just gonna relax my body. And so there is a component, though, of saying, OK, you know what? I’m recognizing that I’m starting to have some some emotional responses to this situation. And and then saying, OK, so maybe I have the ability, maybe I have the knowledge, which you do. Right? You have the knowledge to be able to recognize what’s happening in that moment.
Stacy Westfall: [00:36:51] Mm hmm.
Ginny Telego: [00:36:52] And then you go, OK. Yes, this could happen. But, you know, I really want it. I really want to take him out. I really want to be able to ride him through this or whatever that is. That’s your desire for change. Right. And so then you start going. Do I have the knowledge and the skills to be able to do that?
Stacy Westfall: [00:37:16] Mm hmm.
Ginny Telego: [00:37:16] So for you, you can, because you just said you you have learned from your horses about having this mind and body connection where you can be congruent, where what you’re feeling and what you’re doing match up, right? And so that’s the skill that you’ve developed, you’ve been able to develop. And so I think in looking at it from that perspective, you know, if you’re questioning your–if you’re questioning yourself about that, not that you are. I’m just gonna study this in the conversation for people to think about, because I think sometimes–sometimes we don’t realize that we do have the skills and the knowledge to be able to move ourselves through a situation like that. And so we tell ourselves that we don’t have it. And–and so if–if you’re able to get reinforcement, whether that is just simply that you tell–you go through the process, you’re like, you know, I do know how to do this. I recognize how I’m feeling about this. Recognize I’m having sort of this you know, this I’m–I’m uncomfortable with the situation, but I’m okay with that. I’m comfortable being uncomfortable. That’s OK. I know it’s part of the growth process. And so you’re able to walk yourself through that, the reinforcement for you. Right? Is that you get to you get to go out on the trail ride or you do whatever you needed to do with Presto and you get done and you’re like, oh, well, I’m glad we worked. I’m glad we worked through that. I’m glad I did that. And so that’s where people, I think, get stuck.
Stacy Westfall: [00:39:00] Yeah, I actually–I like that you brought that up and I get so wrapped up like, wait, wait, how’s that phrasing again? But you mentioned the ability, I think–I think it was when you mentioned the ability. And what’s interesting about that is the reason I’m talking so much about the Presto startle-jump spook on the podcast is because the first time I kind of mentioned it off–off-handed on the podcast, like I was like, yeah, this is going on. And this happened and this. And I was like, wow, that real–like, a lot of people were like, what? What are you talking about? Like your horses spook? And I’m like, oh yes. Like as–as the stage of training, like there–it’s there, to me there are moments where they become insecure and that’s not a negative thing. It’s a–it’s a shift of leadership that as they accept me, as they accept, like, am I going to trust this person when we do X, Y, Z, some horses, not all, some of them, it’s way more seamless. And I’m sure that’s, again, like you said, temperament and people or temperament in horses.
Ginny Telego: [00:40:05] Right.
Stacy Westfall: [00:40:05] And some are more, you know, shaky with it. And there’s all these different versions of it. But the first time I mentioned it with Presto, I was surprised at how many people were like, what? You experience that? So I want to make sure I unpack it. But here’s the biggest thing. Number one, I really want people to know that I feel these kinds of things. But number two, when you say ability, the first thing that pops into my mind is people like visualize me, like pulling down my hat, getting a deep seat and being like, I’m going to ride you through anything that happens. And what’s the funny part is that I’m so the opposite of that. Like, yeah, I am like…so yesterday was a perfect example because I was in the process of training Presto and realizing that he…it’s going to benefit both of us. If he gets put into a lot of different situations and learns how to listen to me, and then be distracted by whatever, and then come back to me, because that to me–when I watch the summary of people riding colts and potentially getting bucked off the first time, like in this early stages, it’s very clear to me it’s maybe different when they’re older, but in the early stages, it’s clear to me that a lot of times the horse is like focused on the person to the point where you’ve…I’m sure–well, I know you’ve been in a conversation like this because we’ve had them–but you can be in a conversation with a person so deeply that you miss a lot of what’s going on around you. And I think for the horses, that’s kind of happening sometimes between the horse and rider. And then they look up and they’re like, whoa, what what is that over there? And where did that come from? And then they have a reaction to that. And then with a colt, when you’re like, let’s just say under 30 days of riding. I think the chances are even stronger that when they go like, well, what’s that? I didn’t see that. And they’re like, oh, wait a minute, that’s just a dog running through the field. And then they snap back, you know, like whoa, what’s up on my back?
Ginny Telego: [00:42:02] Right, yeah where did that come from?
Stacy Westfall: [00:42:03] It’s new enough to them because it’s not like they’ve been written for five years. So what I am doing is experiencing that ability to shift. And some horses are so seamless with it. And Presto is not one of those. And the thing is like, that is not a negative. And this goes back to some things you reference that that is not a negative. Just you know, I’m not trying to be judgmentally mean. I’m just acknowledging that that he is slower at that. So, yeah. So yesterday I put him in the horse trailer and hauled him an hour to a friend’s house who built a new big outdoor. The whole point of yesterday was to put him in the trailer, to haul him over there, to tie him on the side of the trailer, to lunge him on the big outdoor, to tie him to the side of the trailer, and ride Willow, to then bring him out and lunge him with the saddle on the second time, and then tie him to the side of the trailer. And they’re like, so you gonna get on and ride? And I’m like, no, I’m not riding him over here in this giant new outdoor with no fences and whatever. So I think that’s the part that surprises people. The people who are, yes, kind of thinking, oh, she’s just going to, like, pull down her hat and get on and ride no matter what, because that’s what it means when you have knowledge. And I’m like, oh, knowledge means no, I am not getting on him today over here. But that that I know the investment in him going and doing that. And then, you know, and then–then lunging around the final time just a little. And this isn’t like excessive amounts. This is actually almost lighter lunging than I do at home. But it’s just a point of like going through these cycles because he understands that the cycling idea here. And, and so that’s and being able to transfer it over there.
Stacy Westfall: [00:43:48] And the coolest thing was that when I brought him back in today, when I took him back into the regular place where we work in the indoor arena, he was noticeably more calm and relaxed today because he had a different experience with stretching his comfort zone over there yesterday, even though it never involved me mounting up. And I think what surprises people a lot of times is this–that when you get to that knowledge and ability, sometimes that actually looks like taking micro-smaller steps, not these big giant leaps of–of like Yeah..
Ginny Telego: [00:44:26] Yes. I mean, I love what you just described because what you were just saying about, you know, you you utilize your knowledge to make the decision. To that…it wasn’t about going over there and proving you could get you could get on him or whatever that was. Right? Because you were paying attention to his learning style. You’ve become aware of his learning style and you respected his learning style. And you also were thinking about, what’s this process for him? Right? Because the reinforcement piece really stuck out for me in that–in that story that you were just telling of that experience, because the fact that you that you took him through that process the way you did and then you brought him home and–and got him out, what, the next day? Or whatever that was, and you–and you said, oh, wow, I could notice a difference. So that was part of the reinforcement for him, was that you you were respecting his level of comfort in the growth process. Right. It wasn’t about sending him so far into his discomfort that he became afraid. Which is what could have happened when you took him to the other place of a–you know, and so being able to recognize that is really critical. And everything you described really, you took him through this process to some extent and you went through this process as far as thinking, OK, if I if I want to if I want to help him grow, if I want to expose him to different things, just enough where he has to kind of be like, wow, what’s going on? What is this? But then you bring him back into a place of comfort that that’s part of the whole psychological growth process, is that when we do things that move us out of our comfort zone, but not so far into discomfort or being uncomfortable, that we are fearful and and so that there’s that place. If you were to think of two interlocking circles where our comfort level and our–and our level of discomfort interlock, where they cross over, that’s the place of growth.
Ginny Telego: [00:47:11] And so for you, being able to do that with Presto is only going to reinforce for him that that every time the next time you go someplace new, you know, that that he’s he’s had this experience with you. He he’s going to utilize the knowledge that he has. Right. And whatever his level of training is. And, that’s going to–just that’s going to continue to build trust, right? The more you reinforce for him that here’s what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna push a little bit out of your comfort zone. But then I’m going to come back. We’re gonna come back into a place that is, you know, that’s comfortable. That reinforcement is what helps the change happen and what helps it stick. So whether it’s us as people or what we’re doing with our horses, I think that it applies the same way, you know. And so, I mean, even for the horse. Awareness is about the horse. The horse saying what I’m doing isn’t isn’t working right. It’s not getting the results I want. It maybe it is–is how they’re responding to the bit. You know, the horse is going to start seeking that place where they get a release of the pressure. You know, and so they recognize that they do have that ability. Obviously, they’re not thinking about it the same way, but they’re just like, I don’t like that pressure. I wonder what–I wonder how I can get rid of that pressure? And so, you know, when they when they do something and it releases that pressure, now they go, oh, OK. All right. Well, now I’m willing to keep doing that and go through the process. And, and then as long as we are releasing the pressure at the right time when they do the right thing, that’s us reinforcing.
Stacy Westfall: [00:49:10] Mm hmm. I like–I like that you say that you find it interesting that you picked up on the reinforcement side of it, because I wasn’t looking at it like that when I was talking about it. But we very often tell people, like when I’m talking about taking a horse to shows and stuff for the first time or the first few times we show them, what we do is we always say you should be training more at home, like a higher level at home than what you do when you show. So what I do is like we like when I hauled him yesterday or if I went to a horse show, I would expect that whatever level I’m doing here at home, I would actually want to be able to drop down a couple levels. And that’s what I did when I went there and didn’t even ride because I dropped down a few levels because he’s already, you know, in one area, he’s he’s experiencing change because he’s been hauled. And it’s a whole different thing. But I’m basically, I am dropping down into something he knows and has a much higher success rate on. So I’m…that’s very…I’m…That was fun to hear you reflect that back and pick up on that. So as we close, is there some final thought you’d like to leave listeners with?
Ginny Telego: [00:50:23] Well, you know, I think if I was going to really just kind of bring everything into a culmination is really understanding that that change is an opportunity for us to get to something better. And if there is something that we can do differently with our horses, that’s going to get us a better result–certainly, if it’s going to help the relationship with our horses, then to me and in my experience, the growth process, although it may be messy sometimes, is usually very well worth it, you know? And so I just would–I just would encourage people to not be afraid or resistant to change, but to really stop and look at it and say, I wonder what could come out of this. What opportunity might be able to present itself? By me being open to that.
Stacy Westfall: [00:51:25] Great advice. Well, thank you for joining me today.
Ginny Telego: [00:51:28] Thanks for having me. I always love our conversations and I do have my tea with me, just so you know.
Stacy Westfall: [00:51:33] And I did have my coffee, so….well, thanks again.
Ginny Telego: [00:51:39] Excellent. Thanks, Stacy. Take care.
Stacy Westfall: [00:51:41] You too. Bye.
Stacy Westfall: [00:51:47] I hope you found that conversation useful. I really enjoyed talking to Ginny because I can push on some of the ideas that we’re discussing and she’s willing and able to take the explanation to another level. And I hope that the discussion that we had around Presto and spooking was helpful. I’ll do another podcast in the future that’s more directly just focused on that. And my main point today in this podcast was to make sure I share with you that tension between different ideas, that it’s still here with me. And I think that sometimes when we have that awareness, we just think we can just shift into like, okay, we can make this super happy. And I just want to make sure that if you ever feel that–that pull, that tension between a couple different things, I just hope you know that you’re not alone. If you want to find out more about Ginny, you can find her online at thecollaborationpartners.com. Or you can find her on LinkedIn. Just search for Ginny Telego. T-e-l-e-g-o, like Lego. And we also created a course together on goal setting and problem solving that’s currently available. And we have an upcoming course on leadership and communication that will actually be have a live version of it. And both of those have an actual live workshop scheduled in October where we’ll get to meet all the participants that want to come out to the barn and have an equine experience that we then help you break down.
Stacy Westfall: [00:53:19] If you want to learn more about any of these things, you can visit stacywestfall.com. Search for this episode under the podcast tab and I’ll have links to all of the things I just mentioned right there to click. Thanks for joining me, and I’ll talk to you again in the next episode.
Announcer: [00:53:38] If you enjoy listening to Stacy’s podcast, please visit stacywestfall.com for articles, videos and tips to help you and your horse succeed.
Links mentioned in podcast:
Ginny Telego’s website: https://thecollaborationpartners.com
Ginny Telego on LinkedIn
Stacy & Ginny’s course on Goal Setting & Problem Solving: https://courses.stacywestfall.com/p/goal-setting-problem-solving
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