A simple plan for helping America’s youth – make them all ride and take care of horses. The world would change.
I spent the day with my two oldest daughter at a horse show in western Pennsylvania. Before my daughters started riding “horse show” conjured up images of snooty people sipping white wine, eating brie, and golf clapping while million dollar horses and their riders pranced around a ring. Let me paint another picture – me sitting on a red Dale Earnhart folding chair with a pot-bellied pig trying to eat my shoes while boys and girls of all ages rode their horses in virtually every imaginable way. This was a horse show for the rest of us.
The most inspiring thing of the day – apart from the blue and red ribbons the Kuo girls kept winning… not that winning matters of course – was seeing scores of young women confidently riding and commanding strong-willed horses. These are young women growing up with the confidence that they really can do almost anything. We need more of this.
In a world where too many parents bestow false self confidence, horses teach teens the real meaning of self confidence. To master the art of riding is to master something of significance. But more than that, horses teach about responsibility, order, and consistency, three pretty decent things.
It is time to take our kids riding.