When my granddaughter was five and started taking horseback riding lessons, she learned that “there is no crying on horseback.” If the horse goes a little too fast, you don’t scream and cry—you do what you need to do to slow the horse like pulling back on your reins or putting your seat firmly in the saddle. And when you fall off, unless you’re hurt, you brush yourself off and climb right back into the saddle.
This is an important lesson for all of us to learn. My dad had his own way of saying it. If I’d scrape my knee or fall from a bike, he wouldn’t give me any sympathy. “It makes you tough,” he’d tell me. I’d go away pouting, but I learned.
Life is tough. No matter how hard we try today to make life “fair” and create an atmosphere where our children can develop good self-esteem, life has a habit of knocking us off our feet. We have a choice when that happens. Do we pick ourselves up and go on, or do we pout, cry and give up?
It’s not too early to learn about the bumps and scrapes life can dish out. It’s not too early to develop the “pick yourself up” attitude. Have you learned it?
My granddaughter has—at least about horseback riding. Now six, she loves her riding lessons. I think she’s a natural! Anyway, a few weeks ago as she was riding around a corner of the arena, her horse shied away from the wall. My granddaughter continued going in a straight line and toppled right off the saddle.
She landed on her butt, rolled, scrambled to her feet, and rushed to capture her horse’s reins.
There’s no crying on horseback, you know.