My junior year of college I got burnt out taking classes I didn’t think contributed to my degree. So I transferred from a university to a two-year community college to spend a semester… riding horses.
Ironically, the way the journalism program was structured the classes counted toward my degree.
I spent most of my weekends from the age of 8 to 18 trail riding, so I knew I had the basics. Granted, I’d never sat an English saddle in my life, I planned for an easy semester. I was thrilled to see things like polo wraps, a hoof pick, and curry comb on my supply list instead of calculators and books.
Literally, the first thing on the list though – a helmet. And the very first class, we were taught how to fall off.
Odd, considering my entire life I’d spent trying to stay in the saddle.
It showed. When the instructor shouted “BAIL” and everyone intentionally threw their weight off the side of their mount, I fell. Hard and flat. We probably fell 30 times the first day. By the end of the first week, I’d mastered the tuck and roll.
Fortunately, I never had to use it in any sort of practical sense while I was there. But looking back, learning to how to fall properly was one of the most important lessons I took away from that entire semester.
Have you taught your kids how to fall?