Over the weekend my husband and I finally got out to see The King’s Speech. And true to the many accolades I’d heard, it was a stunning film. It seems everyone loves it, and now we join the fan group. It’s a great story based on true events.  It has superb acting and a “feel good” ending.

Who could ask for more?

For me there was more.

The subtext of the entire film was, to my way of thinking, a fabulous example of how to set and keep healthy, respectful boundaries.

The story is about King George VI (Queen Elizabeth’s father) and his speech therapist Lionel Logue, who helped the King overcome his stuttering.

Throughout, Mr. Logue sticks to the boundaries he’s set, despite the fact that his client is the future King of England. He is respectful yet firm.

In the film he doesn’t lose his temper or resort to defensiveness or get into power struggles, or pander to his very famous client. He simply lets him know what the rules are, what is expected, and then he helps him achieve them.

A Model for Parenting

I walked out of the theatre thinking this film should be required viewing for all parents. It’s a perfect example of parenting with respect.

And Horses

But then, my second thought was that it also applies to working with horses.

Years ago we went to a demonstration presented by American horse trainer, Pat Parelli. He calls his training method Natural Horsemanship and it’s based on three things: love, language and leadership. All these years later, I remember Parelli saying, “Your horse is looking for a hero.”

In other words, set those boundaries, help him (or her) learn to respect you and what you are asking. Relationship, understanding, communication, and trust are the pillars of Natural Horsemanship.

Come to think of it, they are the exact principles Mr. Logue used in working with the King.