Grabbing for Leather and Mane

Ranch riding isn’t like those weekend rodeos. You don’t get style points. There are tiers of rocks and legions of trees. Rarely is an audience on hand.

Ranch riding is pass/fail. You either stay in the saddle or you don’t. You either show back up at the corrals in one piece or come stumbling in carrying your detached arm. You either got the cow or she escaped.

If a horse decides he’s gonna cut it loose, I’m not going to stay on a real long time. I can ride a crow-hopper. I can even stick through a good solid buck or two, but I’m not going to make the 8-second call if my cayuse goes to the rodeo while I’m on board.

This weekend wasn’t an Erica Rides Pretty type of show. Maybe Erica Rides Gritty. It was short reins, ear watching and down-hill caution. It was hanging out in mid-air, grabbing for leather and mane, riding by instinct.

I passed this weekend only because I’ve spent years failing. Years of getting thrown, falling off and being a tiny passenger perched on runaway horses.

Even when you fail, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. There’s a difference between the two. Fail means you got dumped. Failure means you didn’t get back up and try again.

Pass the test every time you can. When you fail, dust off your bum and climb back on.

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