Friday, June 29, 2012
Greg Eliel gave a clinic at Springpoint Farm in Durham last weekend. It was the fourth visit for this Wisdom, Montana man, who’s worked with Buck Brannaman and developed horse-related programs for executive leadership.
Like so many clinicians, Eliel spends months on the road. I asked him about the touring and he answered candidly:
“It’s demanding. You invest a lot in these horses and in these people. To come back, see the changes and the successes – That’s the paycheck.”
Michelle Richardson of Harpswell has participated in several Eliel clinics. One year, she brought her “wild and crazy” Tennessee Walker. After four days, she had a different horse, she said.
“He teaches you to listen, to work with softness,” said Richardson. “He’ll stop and explain things without making you feel like an idiot.”
Indeed, Eliel related easily to the participants, recalling his earlier days, working with his father on the family ranch in Wisdom.
“What I lacked in timing and feel, I made up for in quantity. You’re where I was then. My horses didn’t always have a softness. But they figured it out in spite of me. They got pretty good because they had jobs.”
He worked with Tamara Gutierrez and her Morgan from Phippsburg. [see photo]
“At the end of the journey, we’ll both be more confident,” said Gutierrez. “That’s what we need.”
I asked Eliel about his work with corporate types. He said the same principles that work with horses, work with people.
“Horsework is all about leadership. In the corporate world, mid- and upper management is used to leading by pressure. Pressure doesn’t get it done. But release of pressure gets it done. You can’t move a 1,400-pound animal with pressure. They see how pure and simple it can be.”