Thursday, August 1, 2013

Physics Lesson

When youngsters begin horsemanship lessons, they yearn to ride but must first accomplish two gargantuan tasks: saddling and mounting. Heaving a heavy saddle onto a horse’s back seems impossible to them, as does getting boots into stirrups and keeping them there while hauling themselves aboard. Between pants and grunts, the phrase I can’t competes for most-frequently-heard honors with the words she’s so tall.

I refrain from pointing out that, at 14.3 hands, Sugar isn’t particularly tall, as horses go. Instead, I explain that getting a saddle up onto a horse—or getting up into the saddle—isn’t so much a matter of strength as it is of momentum. I demonstrate how to use the energy created by momentum to make Mission Impossible possible. 

It’s kind of like crossing a small creek: if you stand flat-footed and then jump, you’ll probably get your feet wet. But if you run up to the water and leap without pausing first, momentum will help propel you to the other side. In the same way, swinging a saddle upwards is easier than hoisting it, and step-hopping up onto a horse requires less effort than rock-climbing up there!

Made it!

“We forget that IMPOSSIBLE is one of God's favorite words.” –Max Lucado

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