Many years and successes later, Lowy’s current role is President and CEO of Sproule. It is the weekend trips to his ranch in southern Alberta that offer a respite from a busy international travel schedule. Where once again the rhythm of animals influence the pace, this time less regimented. Riding the hills have become a place to clear his mind and bring focus, the horses Lowy finds, help him “see things from a whole different perspective”.
My favorite activity of the Calgary Stampede is to visit to the Heavy Horse barn. In comparison to the Belgian, Clydesdale, Shires and Percherons, my big boy Seth a Percheron/Thoroughbred cross, looks pretty small.
Even in the noise of the grounds you can hear a team approaching long before you see them. The jingling and jangling of the harness and the rhythmic clopping of their huge shod feet are an unworldly noise. The first time my horses heard/saw a team hitched up, they had no idea it was “just horses” approaching.
It’s appropriate then, this months conversation is with David Farran about the team.
20 years ago October, Allison Wright handed over her Stampede Crown and began a career with the Calgary Stampede. Starting in the accounting department, she got a grasp on the numbers of running a year round facility and The Greatest Show on Earth. Over the years Allison has held a number of positions in Agriculture Programming and now heads up the Mid-way portfolio. She describes her responsibility as “The guest experience from Gates to Corndogs and everything in between.” For ten days each year Allison’s team grows from 4 to over 800. How do you manage the commitment of that size? Well Allison believes you need to be an adrenalin junkie and love chaos.
“There is no free ride. From the moment you get on your horse to the minute you get off, you are working and doing something, you are never just sitting.
Leaders are the same, there is no time when you are just present without really being there, just occupying the chair.” Eva Friesen
This blog has typically captured my leadership learning through horsemanship journey, but there are a lot of horses in Alberta and that got me wondering “How have horses influenced others on their leadership journey?
So I began asking. In the coming months I will be publishing a series of interviews with those willing to share what they have learned about their leadership from their relationship with horses.
Being Present in a Relationship
From saddling Rhys to regaining consciousness on the ground, I had no memory of what happened.
I was asking the same questions over and over, symptoms of a serious concussion.
In emergency, that diagnosis also included hairline vertebra fractures.
Had I landed differently this could have been a whole different story.
“Is being Lucky to do what you love the end game? Or is it the process”
I am not one for making New Years Resolutions, mostly because what I hear seem like empty promises. The yoga studio is full in January something I know will change in the coming weeks.
Each ride, every program I am looking to fine tune one of my actions as I recognize and better understand my own behaviours. So rather than a resolution, this is more of a confessional.