I truly believe that everyone who participates in a horsemanship program such as Parelli (and there are many other good ones, but we chose Parelli for our barn because it is so well organized with so many resources available) realizes self-improvement. Yes, our horsemanship skills improve. But so do our "people skills." We all like to get our way. But at some point, most of us realize that by getting along, we WILL get our way. And the horses can help us learn this. Because we can't be good horsemen if we don't know how to get along. Once we know how to get along, we will become better horsemen and, guess what! We'll get our way by getting along!
Now it is true, a person can make a horse do just about anything. But is the horse doing it because the person is acting like a partner, or because the person is using force and fear and intimidation?
In AWE, in any natural horsemanship program, we want our horses to be our partners. We want them to be willing partners and hope they will more and more enjoy doing things with us. We help them find their confidence, curiosity, bravery. We help them regain their pride and dignity if they have lost it along their way (happens to lots of neglected and abused horses).
In horsemanship, "getting our way" is not our goal. But "getting along" is! And how strange, but usually when we get along, we also get our way.
If I want to advance in my Parelli program, if I want my horses to be my willing partners and enjoy doing things with me and learning new things with me, my "getting my way" way of thinking is just going to get in the way of my success. Of OUR success, I mean. It's a teamwork thing.