These last couple of weeks I have not been a home school supermom to say the least. Our school days have been hit and miss. We have been in the three R’s survival mode– a little bit of reading, if the cereal box counts; some writing; and a couple of math sheets here and there. Life has been a little crazy to say the least. In the midst of this craziness, I found myself daydreaming about the school bus again, and the guilt is piled even higher! Can I really do this home school thing and do it well? Am I holding my child back from all the things he’s missing if he were in school? Alas, I called the local private school and even considered public school again. Until this morning. I was woken up by Miss Mae at 3:00 am and of course laid in bed afterwards wide awake praying and trying to come up with some sort of solution and direction.
For whatever reason I began thinking about a horse I had growing up. Her name was Savannah and she was an ornery old mare who was born with one eye. She was green broke, which meant that I just threw a saddle on her and away we went. She had no formal training, and neither did I. Savannah was also extremely lazy. She would not go faster than a trot unless I pushed and pushed her to go. When she finally did break into a lope, she would begin to buck rocking horse style until I would go flying through the air.
My brother and I spent most of our summer days riding horse on the trails near our house. His horse, Nick, was better trained than Savannah and was much more obedient. Nick would run. Which meant I was stuck on Savannah doing this super fast trot trying to catch up, while him and Nick would be halfway home. More often than not, I would push Savannah to catch up and then end up flying through the air and getting the wind knocked out of me. My brother would catch Savannah, bring her back to me and reluctantly I would have to get back on. Sometimes she would make it home before he would catch her. I would then have to ride home with him on Nick where I would still have to get back on Savannah.
I always had to get back on her, even though she might buck me off again, I had to get back on. I couldn’t let her win. I was in charge and she had to know that. If I chose not to get back on her that same day, the next time she would throw me sooner and her behavior would just get worse instead of better.
As I laid in bed it struck me, I had to get back on. The home school horse had bucked me off. The wind has been knocked out of me. I have to catch my breath and then I have to get back on. I may not feel like it today, or even tomorrow, but I have to get back on.
As I grew older and less afraid of Savannah, I learned how to avoid getting bucked off. Sometimes I could pull her head around and make her turn into a tight circle so she was physically unable to buck. Other times if I could keep her head up she wouldn’t be able to buck either. I even got to the point where I could anticipate when she would buck and one time I landed with one foot on the ground, one foot in the stirrup. When she knew I was off, she quit bucking and stood still. With one quick movement I swung back up into the saddle. My rebound had gotten quicker. With experience I had learned to anticipate what was coming.
This home school horse may buck me off again, but eventually I just might figure it out. We will have days where it will feel like we are going in circles and getting nowhere. I will keep my head up and keep on moving forward, even if its only at a trot!