A Girl, a Horse, and a Lesson in Parenting

Not the real Fatima, but a good look-a-like.
The following is a true story.

When I was around 10 years old, I began riding horses. Almost every week-end, my cousin and I would go to a riding stable and enjoy each other's company as well as practice our riding skills.

Then when I was 12 or 13 I began "pestering" my parents. I wanted a horse of my own! Of course, the initial answer was "no".  I'm pretty sure the next 20 or so answers were also "no".  However, I kept pestering , begging, pleading, okay, I admit, whining, and as the saying goes,  persistence pays off.  I was finally going to get a horse!

There was a pasture for rent right up the street from my house.  My horse was going to be only 3 blocks away!   It couldn't get any better than this, now could it?


I quickly grew tired of carrying buckets, (very heavy buckets) of feed and water the three blocks from my house to the pasture. Since there wasn't a barn or stable in the pasture, there was no place to leave feed and there was not a source of water. Every day, rain or shine, horses apparently require food and water. Who knew? Obviously, a young, teenage girl did not know. (Frowny face).

My horse was chestnut color and her name was Fatima. She was perfect! That is until......

dear, sweet, Fatima pinned me to the fence and stepped, as in stood on my foot, for an extremely long time.  Horses are really heavy, which may not be news to some of you, but it was a surprise to me!  Not only did it physically hurt, it also hurt my feelings something terrible. My beloved horse, that I had dreamt about and wanted for so long apparently was just "not that into me".

So, I hobbled home and was what one might call "fit to be tied".  My parents comforted me and assessed my injury, which wasn't all that serious, as it turns out.  I tearfully confessed that I wasn't up to the challenge of owning a horse.

My parents then informed me that they had only "rented" Fatima and that she could be returned very easily to her owner. They, much to their credit, did not say, "we told you so" they just called the owner and she came and picked up Fatima, no questions asked.

So, they had only "borrowed" a horse?  Did my parents not have any confidence in me at all?  I don't think that was the case.  I guess they took a chance, seeing as how I might have wanted to keep the horse, but in reality, what they did was let me try something new and learn from it.

It's hard for parents to let children try and fail. I know this from my experiences with my own children. But sometimes, you just have to let go and allow children to experiment, learn, and even fail in order to allow them to grow.

That's it for now
Check back later!


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