By Matilda, Age 13
Shortly after my horseback riding lesson ended, I walked back to the stables with my sassy horse, Jazzy. Unfortunately, Jazzy shook her bridle off and began galloping down the road towards her pasture. During this adventure, she nearly collided with two cars at once because, what else? Although I was racing down a road horseback (one of my goals, although it is not quite as nice as one may imagine), I remembered what my instructor tells me to do when Jazzy speeds up: lean back, balance, even-out her rhythm, relax, oh and don’t forget “Take your shoulder out of your ear!” With my mind collected, somehow, throughout all the chaos and shouting, I managed to remain mounted and safe. Now, I draw parallels between this memory and my experience during the pandemic, which is when I began horseback riding. Covid was surprising and unexpected, but I trusted experts to instruct me, as I flexibly adopted an open mind. I leaned back, relaxed, and removed my shoulders from my ears. Both experiences have been terrifying and thrilling, but I took the precautions necessary to stay healthy and enjoy myself.