There is something wonderful about the world of childhood when it is lived under the auspices of felt safety and caring adults. Literally, the sky becomes the limits of possibilities. My oldest granddaughter, Jenna (age 11) wants to be a cowgirl and Queen. Perhaps she gets the Queen part from her paternal grandmother who serves as my Honorary General. Apparently, there is something genetically linked to the bloodline (the Honorary General’s- not mine) that produces capable, highly organized and at times individuals who like to be in charge. Perhaps it is a leadership gene?
Knowing my grandchildren were in town, Stephanie Kirkland, co-owner of J3 Performance Horses with her husband J.D. Baderscher invited me to bring them over to ride horses. What a gracious and welcomed invitation. Jenna was ecstatic. Of course, she didn’t see any real need for her brother’s to tag along. After all, she was the one who had taken riding lessons in North Carolina. This had more to do with her interest than shared interest with her brothers.
As it turned out, William and Jake, the two brothers didn’t share the same level of excitement. Perhaps it was happenstance or maybe life’s intent, but it reinforced once again that Jenna was the cowgirl Queen.
I was the responsible adult who got to accompany her. Impressive! Stephanie was absolutely amazing. She devoted the time to provide Jenna detailed and understandable instruction, identify the fundamentals of staying safe while on horseback. She was a natural mentor and encourager. The overall experience was impressive.
I had a flashback to my childhood. On several occasions, mother provided us the opportunity to go to a riding arena on the extreme Southside of Odessa. All we needed to know was how to get on and off the horse, make the horse to go and when needed how to stop. Never was instruction beyond those three fundamentals mentioned. Watching Stephanie work with Jenna, it opened a whole new understanding of the skill set and fundamentals necessary to actually ride. It really is true, “The horse adapts the character and persona of the rider. If the rider is terrified and seemingly unsure, the horse will be skittish and unsure. It is a true life example of , “You get in return what you give.”
What is true in the world of horsemanship, it true in every aspect of life. As I begin my adventure today, I’m going to give more thought to the concept, “You get in return what you give.” The horse really does reflect the character and personality of the rider.
All My Best!