When I was a teenager I had a horse. His name was Kerry. Technically he was a pony (by one quarter of an inch) and his pony blood was definitely evident - ponies are known for being smarter than horses, and for having more highly developed senses of humor.
With Kerry this took various forms:
1. Being the stable Houdini (one time he not only got himself out of the stall, but also his pony girlfriend Strawberry, one of them took the barn phone off the hook, they had a snack out of the grain bin, and then at 2 in the morning began galloping around the driveway).
2. Ambushing unsuspecting stablehands by digging a monstrous hole in the floor of his stall and then covering it with hay, so that they fell in.
3. Going under, over, and through pasture fences. Or standing in the middle of the pond, so he could only be caught if you were willing to get very wet.
4. And most importantly, teaching me first, to get back on after a fall, and two, how not to get thrown in the first place. He specialized in bucking.
So, about falling...
The very first time is nothing less than SHOCKING. One minute you're in the saddle, seemingly in control of the situation, and then something happens (a buck, a rear, a startle, a stumble, a sudden stop). Momentum, gravity, and your not so trusty steed, are no longer your friends.
Falling or being thrown is scary, sometimes painful and bruising, both to your body and your ego.
Kind of like sending out queries or manuscripts and having them rejected.
With riding, assuming both you and your horse are okay, the thing you must do is, of course, get back on the horse. That's also scary. You have to dust yourself off, check your tack, mount up, and not let your horse sense your nerves.
Above all, you must not give up.
Not if you love it.
Not if you want to get better at it.
Good enough that some day the same situation will arise, and you won't get thrown.
I have two daughters. They both wanted to ride.
The older one got thrown her fifth time on a horse. She refused to get back on. But you know what? She didn't love riding. She loves cheering. She's a flyer, which takes skill and courage and trusting her stunt group. She's fallen many times, and gotten hurt. She gets back up. Because she loves it.
My younger daughter has fallen only once, at a trot. I was jogging right beside her and actually caught her as she slid off. I've told her that if she keeps riding, she will fall. All riders do. If she loves riding, she'll get back on.
If you love writing, keep doing it. No matter how many rejections you get. Someday you'll make it.
Here's the Thursday's Children theme song.
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