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  • Writer's pictureRachelle Millar

Learning how to Fall, Fail....

I realised today that the fear in horse riding that freezes us is simply that we do not wish to fall and hurt ourselves and our egos. The older you get the more you are worried about such things.

So how do we overcome this fear when you are young, how often have you fallen? Were you allowed to fall. My boys used to ride my hunter, he was about 16hh, lets say 2 metres. As they progressed to not wanting me to lead them anymore, I decided it was time to buy them a small pony, one that was going to be less painful to fall off. I'll never forget the lady's face as I laughed as the children fell off these 12hh ponies. She thought this way of riding was quite bizarre, but it made total sense to me. If you don't have far to fall, then it doesn't hurt so much or they do less damage.

Boys being boys, they used to even fall off their little tricycles on purpose. They would throw themselves off, very gingerly I might add, simply because it was like they had seen in the movies. Or something, a little like a hero.

So if you are a hero because you fell off, what a different mindset that is.

I mean most of us do go to the car races to see a massive crash! They are the most exciting. In fact the demolition derby was the most exciting thing I have ever seen.

Some of the boys best stories were not just about falling off, but falling into a pile of horse poo!

Stories are the best way we learn, so we have to look at how the story happens, the one where everyone lives happily ever after. We don't tell stories about how we fell and fell and fell and then gave up do we? We tell stories about how we fell off and got back on again and eventually triumphed in that. In a way it is the demon/monster that gives up in the face of our tenacity, resilience and sheer determination.

So how do we teach our children that failing is okay?

Not only okay, but a highly required part of growing up.

How do we teach our children to face the monsters and win.

In my family as I grew up, we were taught how to fall off our ski's, our bikes and our horses. The thing was to tuck and roll.

Well that is what we told ourselves, I don't remember ever tucking and rolling unless I set out to do that. But because in our heads we said we knew how to fall off.... it made getting back on again, so much easier.

So I think, it is important to fail at the small things. In fact it is often the little things we fail in... but we don't notice those. Like losing your car keys, or even the auto correct and you misspell a word or send the wrong word out when trying to communicate. We let those slip.... we laugh them off.

So let's make failing a priority eh! And show our kids it is just fine to get it wrong more than occasionally.

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