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Horse Helps Exec Overcome Stress
Linda Weston’s job is a never ending barrage of questions, and need it
now requests. As a Help Desk Administrator for the Maine State
Legislature, Linda has been doing her job for seven years. Typically,
administrator’s last only a few years. What’s Linda’s secret? Everyday
she comes to work with a weight on her mind. One Thousand Nine Hundred
pounds to be exact. That’s how much Tim weighs. Tim is Linda’s horse, a
big, black Percheron gelding that came into her life and changed it
forever two years ago.
“My position as the Helpdesk Administrator can be very stressful. Users
calling for help, have great pressure on them, and could be holding up
the whole Legislative Process – waiting for a document. Most Helpdesk
Staff don't last more then a few years. I have been doing the Helpdesk
since 1999 and I believe I am able to do the job and want to do the job
because of Tim.” Says Weston.
While most of us don’t have a 1900 pound horse to help us through our
tough days at work, what Linda has described is not unusual. People
across the United States have found their lives transformed after
interacting with horses. Even those who have never had a horse or been
exposed to horses.
Wyatt Web, a therapist who founded Equine Experience at Miraval Resort
in Catalina, Arizona credits his transformation from boozer and drug
addict to therapist and role model, to horses. In 2003 he wrote about
these experiences in his book, “It’s Not About the Horses”.
The horse will simply mirror you," Wyatt emphasizes. "If your
communication is confused, if you get frustrated or you're timid, or if
you easily lose your focus as leader of the task, the horse instantly
reflects what is going on. Once you understand your own strengths and
weaknesses, you can then transfer these insights to your human
relationships and maybe improve the way you handle different areas of
Linda Weston echoes the sentiment, stating, “To do my job well while
getting Users where they need to go I need to stay calm. I learned that
from Tim. I think my relationship with Tim has helped me to understand
how to interact more effectively and given me greater
perceptions when communicating. I think it helped me act more like the
lead horse, knowing /feeling the secret to establishing confidence,
responsiveness and attempting playfulness while working - as I do with
Tim. Makes work so much more fun and interesting and rewarding, just as
it does when working Tim.”
At a recent birthday party Weston held for Tim, sixty admirers showed
up. Sixty people who have come to know that there is a lot more to Tim
than just his size.