Tonight I was thinking about the saying "Getting back on the horse", you know, when you fail at something and helpful well-meaners tell you to "hop right back on the horse", usually in the same line as "plenty more fish in the sea". Does this saying really make sense the way it is? I've done some riding in my time, being the typical young girl obsessed with the belief that every other child has a pony except her and that it was just so unfair. Of course getting to ride horses usually teams at some point or other with falling off a horse. I've done my bit of falling, this is the worst time:
I was nine and on my weekly trail ride, this time I had been allocated an unfamiliar horse named 'Storm'. Storm did not live up to his name initially, he plodded along, way behind the other riders. Regularly a trail ride leader would come back and try to hurry him up, but he resisted all prodding and encouragement. Until we got to the halfway mark. This is the spot the horses turn around and head home. Storm knew this spot. Suddenly he was very excited and decided to be first home, he bolted. That was a little nerve-wrecking, but the deal breaker was when he jumped something in his way and I came off. Only I didn't come straight off, I somehow got caught up and dragged (only for a moment, I'm sure, but it seemed a lot worse as I bounced off the ground).
I was lying on the ground, my jeans ripped and grazing embedded with small rocks and dirt right down one side. I bawled. My only comfort was seeing the two men riding frantically towards me, as if they were really worried. They rode straight past me, they were worried, but about the horse.
If someone had told me to get straight back on the horse, I don't think I would have gone along with the idea. Certainly not that horse.
Similar advice was given to me when I split with my first husband. I wasn't even speaking to him, let alone getting back on for a ride.
No, I don't think if you suffer a bad fall that you should hop straight back on the horse. I think you should shoot the bloody horse and ride the next one.