“Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears” –Arthur Koestler. I have found this to be true on numerous occasions, yet I only began to truly understand what it meant a few days ago when I began to ride my horse, Lady, again. Last spring, when I was really beginning to enjoy riding, I was riding my horse Lady up to the barn when she threw me off. Now this was not a big deal, I was a little sore but could easily get back on the next day. A week passed before I could get back on her again, and for a while everything seemed fine. Then Lady bucked. I went flying over her head and landed on the ground. Now normally this wouldn’t have been a problem either, you get up and get back on. But after being thrown twice in a row, I was scared. For a month I wouldn’t get even close to Lady. And for nearly eight months I didn’t ride. My fear made me oblivious to the possibility that, perhaps, it wasn’t Lady’s fault.
Then, last fall, my grandfather and sister where riding in the round pen and I asked if I could get on Lady, just for a little while. I only stayed up there for less than a minute, yet that minute helped me push away some of my fear so that I could see just a little better. Now it is spring again and we took the horses out to ride, but just before they left I asked to get on one more time. And as I put my foot in the stirrup it felt like a whole other world was opened. I was still scared, yes, but I could conquer that fear. And even though I was terrified at being up again I felt that, maybe, I could do it again. Just one more time.
-Aidan, Age 13