summer camp tips

When you run from a horse, let go of the reins.

When I was six I took horseback riding at Camp Wildbrook, a day camp in Cincinnati, and I was terrified of horses.  I thought they were gigantic, monstrous things and the idea of riding one absurd.  And we weren’t even riding them, we were just supposed to walk them around this tiny track and back to the stable.  There was only one rule:  don’t let go of the reins. 

I had the reins of, what seemed to me at the time, Secretariat.  I was leading him around the track.  But after a minute, I thought he was getting too close.  So I walked faster, trying to put more distance between us.  But he walked faster, too.  And when I walked even faster he started trotting after me.  Then his nose came down and brushed against me.  And I panicked and ran, still holding onto the reins, screaming that the maniac horse was going to trample me.  Thankfully, one of the trainers ran over and grabbed him. 

“Why didn’t you let go of the reins?!” he asked.

So…when you run from a horse, let go of the reins.

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