|Sam Powell - Page 2|
|Sam's Thoughts & Philosophy|
Sam Powell looks like a cowboy…with steely eyes, leathered hands and a stance that reveals he’s suffered a number of broken bones. But, when Sam Powell walks into a room, his energy fills it like an empty cup. With the demeanor of a polished gentleman, his presence is magnetic and his spoken word enchanting, captivating and hypnotic. Sam Powell has the power of communication—spoken and unspoken.
Born in Oklahoma, Sam is the all-American cowboy—a pedigreed, full-blooded horseman. “I’ve been around horses all of my life. I’ve worked ranches, toured the rodeo circuit, rode the range to round up herds in the wild, and I’ve broke and trained many a horse,” said the former rodeo cowboy.
As a young man, Sam grew up “rodeo-ing.” “Back then, if you grew up out West, that’s just what you did. It was a way to make money, not to mention get attention.” Admitting that he had a big, big ego, for a little guy, Powell says he used the rodeo as an avenue to attract attention. “I didn’t have a lot of parental guidance, if you will, as a kid. So, I think I was starving for attention. If I rode the bulls and I was a winner, I’d get the applause from the fans. If I was injured, at the very least, I’d get medical attention.” His ego, he says, kept him in trouble and in pain. “I realized ‘I’ wasn’t getting it right--with the horse or in life!”
Having eaten a lot of dirt and dusted himself off more than a hundred times, the 67-year-old cowboy learned that rather than to “work” the horse, it’s better to “work with” the horse.
“Over the years, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and the horse has taught me a lot. The horse saved my life and this is my way of paying the horse back for what he helped me to learn about myself and my relationships with others over the last sixty some-odd years of my life.”
A horse relationship therapist and interpreter, Sam Powell “thinks horse.” His lessons are derived from 50 years’ life experience and observation—all from the horse’s perspective. “It’s important to understand that human’s attach everything that a horse does from a human standpoint. We are asking him to conform to our standards. A horse knows how to be a horse. He already knows how to run, stop and back up. It’s up to the human to learn how to ‘ask’.”
A consultant, clinician and horse philosopher, Sam is an equine elementary school teacher who teaches by asking. As a horse advocate, he counsels from the horse’s point of view so that humans can learn the “horse language.” The translation is to bring the horse and owner together in mutual communication and understanding, under mutual circumstance, on mutual ground.
Like any relationship, the key is to develop a harmonious balance with the horse. “This seems like a simple concept, but sometimes it’s a difficult one to master. We are all striving for that gentle and loving relationship with our horses, but disharmony manifests in varying degrees. For example, if we repeatedly work a horse gently, gently, gently, the horse will likely come from the other side to be stronger, stronger, stronger, in an effort to balance the energies and restore harmony.”
Sam teaches not how, but why. He doesn’t work on problems to try to “fix” them; he works to discover the cause. “Horses are not born bad, disrespectful or mean. Most of the time, a horse problem is caused by human error or something that makes the horse uncomfortable. If I find the cause of the problem, I can affect the cure.”
Sam has worked with some of greatest horse trainers, from all over the world, from a wide variety of riding disciplines. He’s roamed and rode along side some of the hardest “working” cowboys. He’ll tell you the difference between being a trainer and being a horseman is to “let the horse teach you.” “The horse’s behavior is a reflection of your behavior. If I can help the horse owner understand their behavior and how it affects the horse, we can create a lasting relationship.”
Like raising a child, rules, guidelines, and clear, firm, respectful boundaries are primary when trying to establish a relationship with these magnificent creatures. Finding just the right tone in the conversation with the horse is an art that takes a lifetime to learn and refine.
Sam Powell is a former rough and tumble cowboy who’s found his way, through his relationships with the horse, to a kinder, gentler side. “My personal life ambition over the years has been to concentrate on three things: to become a good man, a gentle-man and a horse-man.” He is an educator who’s formed his own philosophy and outlook on life and relationships by the untamed nature of equine’s greatest teacher—the horse.
“There are various techniques and different interpreters—but there is only one language—the language of the horse.”
As a translator, his message is to share a greater understanding of one of the most beautiful animals to roam the country---with you. Sam Powell speaks horse, loud and clear.
“There’s nothing mystical about it; no voodoo, no magic. It’s understanding the ‘language of the horse.’”
Southern Living Magazine
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