A lesson from a nine-year-old: getting back on the horse

August 20, 2013

Dear Max

Sometime some of the biggest lessons come from the littlest people, and my latest is from your aunty Maya, my little nine-year-sister (readers: in case you’re wondering how I have such a young sister, she’s a half sister – we share the same dad).

So Maya has always been smart and confident, without being precocious. In fact, she has one of the gentlest natures and biggest hearts I know of anyone (big and small).

Maya loves riding horses, has provincial colours and spends much time training, riding and grooming her pony. I’ve watched her before and she’s pretty amazing in action, but this isn’t a post about her riding. It’s a post about her falling.

A couple of months ago Maya was riding in a tournament, and she was thrown from her horse. I wasn’t there to see it, but saw a video clip that my dad was filming during the ride. Immediately after the fall, Maya got up, and got straight back on the horse. Without fear, ignoring the pain of her fall, and with no hesitation. Her reasoning at the time? She wanted to show her pony that she was in “control”, and to not let the pony lose confidence, or lose confidence in her.

And then a few weeks ago Maya was thrown from her pony again, and this time broke her ankle. She still visited her pony regularly, and couldn’t wait to start riding again. When I asked if she was scared to get back on again, she asked me what there was to be scared of. I replied, “Of falling”. To which she said, “I don’t get on thinking I’m going to fall. Ever”.

This was a vital reminder about falling down and picking oneself back up. And not approaching things with a fear of a negative outcome. It’s like babies learning to walk. They fall, get up, fall, get up, fall, get up. And it’s repeated until they learn.

Somewhere along our walk we lose this knack, or it takes us longer to get up, or we simply cannot find our way back on the proverbial horse. So it’s worth remembering the little falls and risings of babies when they’re still learning to walk, and big little people who start over without being distracted or deterred by “what ifs”.

You have a cool aunty. Let’s learn from her…




Feature image via Freedigitalphotos

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1 Comment

  • SharonVW

    Brilliant! Love it! So very very true!

    August 21, 2013 at 10:43 am Reply
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