When I was 9 years old I signed up for 4-H and got my first horse. I loved riding, I was never super good at it, couldn't really be one of those competitive cowgirls. But, I did my thing. I rode for pleasure and with 4-H I rode in a couple of shows. I started out riding a little pony and as I got a little better I progressed to a rather large 17 hand horse.
After a year and a half I started to feel pretty good about the fact that I had never been bucked off a horse, never fallen off, never had any major calamity occur. Then I attended a 4-H horse show. There I was in my white shirt, green hat and green sash. I was looking 10 year old stylish. My hair cut short to my ears in a bob and permed. It was a good look! Anyway, I was out in a field behind the arena warming up my horse, Brodie. Things were going well until suddenly her feet got tripped up in the grass. She tried desperately to keep her footing, but her attempts were futile. She toppled over with me and my green hat still on top of her back. She fell completely over on her side, pinning my left leg underneath her massive weight. Numbing pain shot through the left side of my body and as quickly as I could feel it she was jumping back on her feet and running off, leaving me on the ground. As I shook off the pain, ever adult in the near proximity rushed over to check on me.
Though I was shaken up, I didn't have any wounds that were in need of treatment. What was wounded was my pride and my confidence. I'd heard the cliche saying, "You need to get right back on the horse." Honestly, though that was the very last thing I wanted to do. I didn't want to risk getting hurt again. I didn't want to chance serious damage. My brush with injury was too close for my comfort. Eventually, the adults convinced me to at least mount the small pony that I had learned on. Over the next couple of weeks I regained my confidence and was eventually able to ride Brodie again.
This event sticks out in my mind because in the nine years that I rode horses this is the only accident I ever had. I was very lucky. But, this was not the only time that I have "fallen off the horse." Life is full of stumbles, wounded pride, lost confidence. Getting back up on the horse sometimes sounds simple, but can be the hardest thing in the world to actually do. Lately, I have felt the greatest amount of inadequacy, wounded pride and lack of confidence in my life. I'm not really one of those competitive cowgirls in this life, but I'm doing my thing, taking it at my own pace and I will keep getting back on the horse each time I stumble. And I will keep remembering that this ride is worth all the falls!