Have you ever felt like you’ve fallen and no matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to get back up? Or do you jump right up, brush yourself off, don’t look back, and just keep going?
I was out riding my young horse Dreamer today- he’s almost 18 months old, and we’ve barely just started riding him out of the round pen. Today he got to go out for his first trail ride! Kent and I were talking as we were heading back towards home at the end of our ride, and we were both commenting on how well Dreamer had done. He had successfully walked over several logs without tripping, had gone up a little hill, and had crossed a little wash. All of these minor little things can be very intimidating and scary for a young horse, and he had managed to handle and accomplish them all pretty well for his first time. Especially since it was also a bit windy, another scary factor for a yearling horse!
I was pretty proud of him, and we continued to talk about him as we finished our ride. Then all of a sudden “BAM” Dreamer stumbled and fell to both knees and onto his left shoulder, just about to roll all the way over. I was able to remain pretty relaxed through all of this, and I tried to help him by picking up his shoulders with the reins in a very calm and gentle manner. Dreamer was able to recover, and he finished picking himself up, and found his footing, all with me still fully upright sitting in the saddle. As soon as he was standing back up again, he walked off and acted as if nothing had happened, and we continued on our ride home. (neither he nor I were hurt in any way).
When we got back to the cabin, Kent said to me “ I’m glad you both survived the fall!”
I just smiled and replied “me too”. My mind had not really even gone to what might or could have happened. Then it got me thinking… How many times in life have we fallen or feel like we have, and we just seem to get stuck. Do we pick ourselves up with grace, ease, and compassion? Or do we get angry with ourselves, or create a story around what or who caused the fall in the first place, or do we blame others for it? And then do we just allow ourselves to stay down and stuck, and unable to get up? Do we stay in a state of repeated patterns feeling like a victim? Are we afraid to ask for help?
Or… can we accept that it just happened, no fault of anything or anyone? Then can we find a way to just move forward and break up old patterns and stories? Yes you can! You do have a choice! We don’t always have control over the events that happen, but we ALWAYS have a choice over how we choose to respond to them! We ALWAYS have control over where we place our thoughts and our energy! And we can ALWAYS choose to ask for support or help when we need it!
Yes, today could have had a much different outcome. I could have panicked, I could have stepped into past fear or trauma… the horse could have fought me trying to get up and he could have easily panicked. Both of us could have been seriously hurt…
But that’s NOT WHAT HAPPENED! Next time you fall, how will you respond? I hope you are able to stand up tall, brush yourself off, and keep enjoying your ride!