March 25, 2009

Remembering Wyo

Posted in Life, Technology tagged , , , , , , , , at 9:42 pm by lindaslongview

wyo_linda_2007

Wyo was a regal dark chocolate (almost black) Morgan horse.  He had a massive neck, a muscular stature, and the sweetest disposition that a horse could have. Today Wyo was laid to rest after two years of suffering from equine COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

When I was a little girl, I desperately wanted a horse, but even though dad was an experienced and able horseman it just was not to be.  As time passed, I became more urban, less rural, and I did not think much about horses after college.  Imagine my surprise when my parents retired to a ranch and (finally) bought me a horse!

I met Wyo when he was a gangly 2-year-old still in training.  It was love at first sight!  I immediately hired a trainer to teach me to ride, to tack, to muck, to groom, and be safe around horses.  Although I could only see Wyo occasionally, my trips to visit him were always joyful learning experiences.

There is an old proverb that says, “When you are ready, your teacher will come.”  It might be surprising, but Wyo was one of my best teachers.  He taught technology leadership from a horses’ point-of-view.   His lessons were few, but important:

  1. Build a relationship before you ask to lead. He led me to develop a deep and lasting bond that enabled me to confidently give commands and him to accept them.
  2. Be present. He taught me the importance of paying attention to the trail, to the beauty of the mountains that we traveled, to the possible dangers (rattlesnakes), and to the unexpected (a flock of  startled pheasant).
  3. Overcommunicate. He taught me the importance of making sure that we understood each other when working together.  We learned to open a gate without dismount and could easily move cattle between pastures.  Although I spoke and he did not, the position of his ears and his breathing told me everything.
  4. Take the lead when others cannot. He demonstrated confidence to other horses when they shied from crossing streams.  He stepped confidently into the water and escorted other horses to the other side, crossing as many times as was needed.

I miss his powerful stride under my saddle and the wind in my face, but I can still feel the reins in my hands.  Rest in peace my friend and teacher.  Your memory lives with me.  You were loved.