For starters, falling off a horse is one the most devastating experience. Not only does it cause you to get admitted at a hospital for a couple of broken bones, but it also instils a fear that it might happen again. We have to admit, most of us have experienced this, and have struggled hard to get up and conquer that fear. Here are two very important virtues that you should teach your heart and mind to make sure that it won’t happen again. And if it does, well, you can try again.
There’s an adage that says that “nobody gets it the first time.” In many cases, including horse riding, that is true. While some of us have had the golden time experiencing a problem-free first time ride, but we can probably thank our beginner’s luck for that. Chances are, if you didn’t have very comprehensive and effective horse riding lessons, or if you didn’t learn the lesson properly, then you might actually fall. But let’s worry about that later on. For now, you should understand that if you’re feeling fear, then that only means that you are a normal person. It has been hardwired in our brain to caution us whenever something possibly perilous might happen to us. In this case, what you should avoid is the wrong habits that you may have formed and the failure to prepare for the moment, not the overall experience itself.
To do that, focus on motivating yourself. There are a hundred different ways to do that. You may begin by praying, if that works for you, or by listening to a motivational podcast. It doesn’t really matter which, as long as it produces the desired effect on you, which are two things: courage to try again, and serenity, should you fail again. There’s a famous saying by Karle Wilson Baker that says, “Courage is Fear that has said its prayers.” Indeed, even the most professional equestrians feel fear, but in a different level. They might not necessarily fear that they will fall of their horse, but they can certainly worry about not winning the derby.
And if those aren’t enough, then make the fearful experience your motivation to become better. You can either feel sorry for yourself, or you may try to redeem the bitter experience and tell yourself that you will do anything in your power to make sure it will not happen again.
One consolation that you can get when you fail is that it teaches you to be humble, and to empathize with those who fail, should you be successful enough to become a world-famous equestrian or even just a horse rider who doesn’t fall off your horse anymore. Somehow, failures are what keep our feet on the ground even when our head’s in the clouds. Indeed, those who have learned how bitter the taste of failure is, are the ones who can easily understand the stigma that others get tormented with when they fall off a horse, or repeatedly lose in horse racing competitions.
Through empathy, we gain more genuine friends in no other way. As C.S. Lewis once said, “Friendship is born at the moment when one man says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’”
These two virtues are just some of those that we develop and need to excel not just in horse riding, but in all aspects of our lives as well.282