Book Review: The Gift of Failure

Welcome to the new topic on the Pony Club Pizza blog! Have an interesting book you feel would benefit Pony Club members or leadership? Send in your reviews to to be shared!

Our first book review was sent in by Katie Graham, RS of Middle California Region.

The Gift of Failure: How the best parents learn to let go so their children can succeed.
By Jessica Lahey

This wonderful book deals with failure as the most valuable parenting tool from household duties and friends from the earliest years through the grades to adulthood. It includes tips on parent-teacher partnerships, homework and grades and more.

But the chapter that caught my attention was about sports entitled: Losing as an Essential Childhood Experience. Youth sports have become so intense. Lahey asks, How about the league called, “I just wanna play?” and the value of play for the sake of play.

In competition, not everyone can be the winner. Sports should be a safe place for kids to fail, where athletes and teams could lose and the aftermath would be all about sportsmanship rather than conflict over the last contested call or protest.

Equestrians know that our sport is full of disappointment – from the unexpectedly lame horse, to making the decision to walk in from cross country because today is just not the day. Sometime at Pony Club certifications, the horse and rider team Do Not Meet the Standard on the day. It’s disappointing but this helps our children grow into adults of character – able to make reasonable decisions and move on from failure. These are often moments of courage and growth, and we need to teach our kids to be proud of them.

Pony Club rallies are another wonderful activity that allows youngsters the space to be independent in the barn. No parents in the barn is a long time tradition that many young people embrace and learn to get along with a group of team-mates. This creates competence that requires ability AND the experience to put it into practice.

Pick up this book and learn some to understand that less is really more. Go to Shop Pony Club and purchase this book through Amazon.

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