As I was stepping up onto the horse the saddle slipped, the horse got spooked and spun around and I (as a beginner with only two lessons under my belt) flew off the back of the horse and landed right on my back, my head bouncing off the ground like a ball.
Although as a little girl I’d dreamed of having a horse (and what little girl hasn’t?), I hadn’t had much real experience riding. So, a few years ago when I saw an affordable four lesson riding package available nearby, I decided this was my big chance to fulfill my lifelong dream of galloping freely across some meadow without a care in the world.
It didn’t go quite like I’d imagined. I could blame it on the instructor for not checking that I had cinched up the saddle securely. I could say that the horse went wild and bucked me off. I could be perfectly honest and admit that I was responsible for (1) not asking the instructor to double check the saddle and (2) not being alert enough to respond quickly and land on my feet instead of my head.
I was badly shaken, seeing stars, embarrassed and not thinking clearly. However, one thing I knew for sure — I was not going to shrink in fear and walk away. I got the assistance I needed to secure the saddle and I got back up on the horse to finish the lesson. By the time the hour was over I felt proud that I had not given up and walked away.
I ended up being diagnosed with a concussion and even though I did not go on to become a champion in the riding ring, I will never forget the fact that I overcame my fear in that moment and I did the hard thing. I put my foot in the stirrup, swung my leg up over the horse, and spent the next several minutes enjoying the big, strong, lovely horse on which I sat.
So, instead of my blaming myself, the horse, or the instructor, I simply remembered that things are never perfect, there is always some risk, and things can go wrong even when you’ve seemingly done all you can to make them go right. That’s life!
“Get back on the horse” is about as cliché as any phrase can be, but there is a reason why it’s used so often in so many situations.
What choice are you facing today that you are afraid of? What is the metaphorical horse that’s thrown you off course? What is tempting you to see yourself as a victim of circumstance?
When you face the challenge, the disappointment, the frustration, the illness, the headache, the unforeseen outcome, get back on that horse and be a victor!
Originally published at medium.com