You have to fall off the horse 100 times before you are a good rider!
Have you ever heard the expression in the horse world: ‘You have to fall off the horse 100 times before you’re a good rider’? It was common in riding schools when I rode (at least in my time, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth :)), and I’ve always thought it was a poor consolation when you were lying on the ground, writhing in pain. I don’t know who came up with that rhyme, but to me, it sounds like something an old rodeo rider would say.
What can you really learn from falling off a horse, besides that it hurts? Well, you can learn falling technique (which maybe should be introduced in riding schools), but you don’t learn to ride by falling off. Instead, you can learn other things, like why the horse threw you off, or maybe that you should have dismounted before the horse started acting up. In my world, you learn much more when you’re in the saddle than when you have fallen off your horse.
Imagine if the same thing were said in driving school: ‘You have to crash 100 times before you learn to drive a car’?
Being scared and timid doesn’t belong in a stable; you have to show the horse who’s boss!! That’s also an expression you’ve heard a number of times…
What if instead, we listened to the horse, cooperated, and did everything at the right pace? Can’t you become a good rider that way too?
I think there are many clichés in the horse world that should be killed off, but they persist even though we know better. At my place, you don’t get any extra points for falling off. Instead, we focus on making sure the horse is comfortable with you being on its back and that you trust both yourself and the horse.
If you’ve fallen off one too many times or feel unsure about getting back on your horse, feel free to reach out to me. I have many good ways to work with the horse so that you don’t have to fall off again 🙂