Horseback riding. Have you done it? I have, once, and I absolutely loved it! I ended up with sore muscles that I never even knew I had but that feeling when the horse began to lope was worth it all! There’s more to horseback riding than just a thrilling feeling of flying, though. Both of my big kids have taken horseback lessons, at different times, and I knew they would learn a lot from it. What I didn’t expect is just how universally valuable those lessons would be!
You Work for What You Love
I’ll admit, growing up I was a bit…pampered. My sweet mom did pretty much everything for me so that I could just enjoy being a kid. I tend to parent similarly and do quite a bit for my kids. Real life, though, requires real work. Sometimes things are hard, they’re heavy; sometimes you work up a sweat and huff and puff until you get things done. Sometimes you’re tired and cranky and you just want to skip over all the hard work and get to the good part. When you love something you buckle down and get through it. You lug that heavy, leather saddle that’s half as big as you over to your horse and you heft it up with all of your strength. You diligently study and learn the basics, even if you think they’re painfully boring, before you get to the more advanced, fun part. Hard work has it’s benefits: it builds character, it boosts self confidence, and it gets results.
Try Again Even if You’re Afraid
Cade took therapeutic horseback lessons when he was younger. Progress was slow and steady but he had a deep love for the horses he rode. Every week when he was supposed to be brushing them he would spend his time hugging their necks instead. He wasn’t afraid and he wasn’t nervous. One day he was trotting when his horse, Cochise, got spooked. The horse started spinning in circles and jumping. Cade was yelling, his teacher was yelling, and then he fell. He landed on his side with his face in the dirt. Thank God for helmets and guardian angels. He ended up with a very large bruise on his hip and a new fear of horses. But you know what? He got up. He got through it. And he chose to go and get back on a horse the very next week. He was scared, but he did it. There are times that we have to push through that dread and anxiety in order to get back to what we love. What a sweet victory it is when we overcome fear and accomplish our goals!
Our children are learning so many lessons from the activities we’ve put them in. Let’s not forget to learn right along with them!