On the Necessity of 12-year-old Girls

I realized how much I depend on 12-year-old girls when I first started taking lessons almost 2 years ago. I was getting the tack on my horse and I was fumbling or dropping things or doing something awkward when a girl (I think she was 12 — 14 at the most) asked me if she could help me or if I needed anything.

She was so polite, so confident and self-assured. There was nothing patronizing or belittling in her attitude or question. She simply saw someone who needed assistance, and then offered it.

I am struck over and over again by the poise I see in girl who are hanging around the barn. They’ve chosen (or been chosen by) a pursuit that demands concentration and maturity. They are not self-conscious and yet they are competent. They know how to fasten a girth. They know where stuff is in the tack room. They can tell when someone needs a hand because they remember when they needed a hand too. They’ve been scared and they’ve gotten over their fears.

They treat me like an adult and I hope I return the favor because I need their wisdom and guidance.

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