Have you ever really wanted to do something, but felt equally terrified to attempt it? My husband and I are just back from San Francisco where we were visiting his daughter, Victoria, the world's best step-daughter. She has been riding horses since she was a tiny child, and arranged for us to take a trail ride on the beach with her riding instructor. I wanted to go, but don't have great memories of horseback riding at Buffalo Gap Camp a few decades ago.
Victoria is too accomplished a rider for me to believe her when she said it would be "easy." She was realistic about how much she could assuage my fear, but made the best arrangement possible: she had my horse tethered to her instructor's horse. Instant pony ride! Here is what I learned:
Sometimes we need the babysitter horse.
Yes, the ranch hands (is that what they are called?) had named my horse the babysitter. No bucking and neighing, She just followed the horse in front of her without question.
It's OK to need help.
Was it embarrassing when we met up with another group? Maybe they didn't notice that I was harnessed to the teacher? But pride goeth before a fall, or in this case, I might have taken a tumble, but at least pride didn't keep me from the experience.
Adventures are worth the risk.
Breathtaking views and a profusion of wild flowers greeted us along the trail. I felt so safe and comfortable I took pictures with my i-phone in the saddle (loved writing that).
At one point all of the horses spooked, except mine. My husband noted, "Your horse is in a coma." I laughed so hard it was the only time I was in danger of falling out of the saddle.
Small steps lead to bigger accomplishments
I may never be Jackie Kennedy jumping fences in the Virginia countryside, but I might just get a set of chaps for my next visit.
If you are afraid to try something, let other people help you find a babysitter horse, and enjoy the ride!
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