Every young girl needs an older lady friend/advisor – specially if she lives way out in the country. A girl’s own mother doesn’t qualify because she’s got too much invested in her offspring’s hoped-for successful life.
The girl’s friend/advisor, unlike Mom, doesn’t give advice the usual straightforward way. (“If you don’t leave those pimples alone you’re gonna ruin your face.”) She might just offhandedly observe that the dog’s hurt place didn’t get well very quickly because he didn’t “leave it alone” while looking pointedly at the friend/advisee’s face.
My friend/advisor was a neighbor ranch lady, Miz Boone. One day when we were out horseback she mentioned that the best riders are the ones who learned to ride bareback first because they ride the horse, not the saddle. “They ride with shorter stirrups, too, again so they’re riding the horse and not the saddle,” she said while looking off in the distance – not at me.
For the next week I rode bareback, and I shortened up my stirrups. Miz Boone was right. I could really feel the horse’s moves, and I WAS a better rider. I never said anything, though.