Georgina Bloomberg: Why I Want to Teach My Son How to Lose

09/19/2014 at 10:45 AM ET

Georgina Bloomberg and Jasper
Geoffrey Tischman 

As an internationally renowned equestrian, Georgina Bloomberg is well-versed in winning. But when it comes time for her son Jasper to learn how to ride and compete, she has something else in mind entirely.

“I like the idea of teaching kids how to lose. That’s a really important lesson in life,” Bloomberg, who won Thursday’s grand prix at the Central Park Horse Show Presented by Rolex, tells PEOPLE.

“I don’t like the idea of doing leadline where everyone gets a blue ribbon,” she says of the horse show class for the littlest riders. “I think it’s unrealistic for kids and teaches the wrong lesson.”

So when Jasper makes the move from rocking horse to a real pony, he’ll ride in the judged classes where the riders are placed, says Bloomberg, 31. “My friends’s kids who got a blue ribbon every time are now starting to compete in other classes where that doesn’t happen and they struggle with not winning every class.”

“It’s really nice to teach kids that, listen, you’re not going to win every time out. And that’s OK.”

At just 9 months old, Jasper (whose father is Bloomberg’s longtime boyfriend Ramiro Quintana) “hasn’t been on a horse yet without being in my stomach,” jokes his mom. The professional show jumper rode in last summer’s Hampton Classic horse show at five months pregnant — her last competition before taking a break from riding. “I know it was controversial,” she says. “But I listened to my body, I was taking better care of my body than I ever had before and I felt like it was the right decision for me at the time.”

Now that she’s a mom, Bloomberg was pleasantly surprised by her new state of mind when she returned to riding.

“I’m more focused when I’m in the saddle because I have less time in it. I appreciate my time in the saddle more,” she says. “I thought I’d be more distracted and more rushed but now when I go to the barn, I know I have a couple of hours just to focus on the riding. I fully focus on that and the rest of the day is devoted to my son.”

And when she’s on the road competing, Jasper can get an early look at the horse show circuit.

“I’m lucky in that Jasper can come to most of the horse shows,” says Bloomberg. “He really enjoys being around the horses. So even thought I’m at the show all day, he can be there, sitting with me between horses.”

— Rennie Dyball

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 23 comments

KJGL on

Standing ovation for this mom. Had the same reason for letting my daughter join a dance/competition troupe at a very young age. She learned that losing doesn’t mean quitting or crying. It meant going back to the studio to try again.

Also in dance, the littler dancers learned how to behave when they lost because they were able to see how the older kids handled losing. Fortunately in my daughter’s troupe, the older kids had learned how to be just as gracious whether they were getting gold, silver, or nothing. Those are great lessons for a young person.

charlotte on

I could not agree more with this logic! I think all competitive activities in this day and age should be handled this way. Keep score, someone wins, someone loses, and not everyone gets a trophy or a medal!

Chrissy on

I know this seems dumb, but where is the rest of her body in this pic?

Amelia on

@Chrissy, I think she is laying on her tummy on the ottoman and chair. Also, she sounds very grounded. Good for her for knowing that you don’t always win, and also teach your kids how to lose with grace.

betty on

@Chrissy… I had to stare at that picture for a while trying to figure it out. I think she’s laying across that Ottoman. Definitely a weird picture though.

Kim on

Teaching our children to lose is just as important as teaching them to win. Builds character and good sportsmenship.

megan on

I was confused for a second. I thought that was Beverly Mitchell

Chrissy on

Thanks Tracy and Betty! And @ Megan, I thought the same thing about her being Beverly Mitchell.

Sacré on

While I agree with teaching children to be gracious about losing, isn’t is just a bit presumptuous to expect him to want to ride horses competitively? Maybe he will want to be involved in some other sport or hobby? Cut the kid some slack before you plan out his entire childhood… he’s only 9 months old.

Athena619 on

Hmm.. This is the oddest Photoshopped picture I’ve seen. At first I figured she was laying down on the ottoman/chair, but then I noticed her left arm.. It someone is going towards the ground and makes a SHARP left turn to allow her hand to be flat on the floor. Unless it’s her foot and I’m seeing a painted toe nail? I think that is a foot, because her other hand doesn’t have painted nails. It’s so bizarre that I’m actually creepied out.

Athena619 on

The picture is WEIRD. Her foot (showing painted toe nails) is on the floor where the rest of her left arm goes missing. Her right hand isn’t painted, so it’s not her hand in a odd angle on the floor. How is any of this physically possible? It’s not. Horrible Photoshopping.

Ahh on

Rich people’s problems. I guess this can correlate to soccer. Lol.

Learn Photoshop on

Must be extra difficult to ride competetively when you have no body or legs and only one foot. Good for her. I have a full body and am nowhere near riding at Georgina Bloomberg’s level.

Kimber on

That IS a very odd picture. Since one of her feet is on the floor I assume she is sitting on the ottoman with on leg curled underneath and bent way over to hold her child. Weird. That said, it’s nice to hear someone who actually wants their child to learn you can’t win 100% of the time. Too many entitled brats running around these days!

Anonymous on

Good for Georgina to teach her kid at the early age how to lose because you can’t win all the time!

Christa on

Ajah-jackass. Can we make that a word?

Marky on

It appears to me she is kneeling behind the ottoman, with her upper body over the top of it to allow her to cuddle he son while he is on the horse. One arm around her son, and the other on the floor, propping her up. It’s a picture; why are we analyzing the pic as if it is the main point of the article? As far as her talking about him riding when he’s older, it’s just an example…she’s not planning his future, she’s talking about the differences in approach in the world she relates to. Maybe you would discuss your child playing softball or football, or dancing or doing nothing. Sheesh, some of you are so nit-picky; can’t you just cut another mom a little slack? She rides horses, maybe you drink coffee and complain about every woman on your street.

Gail on

If no lose, there is no win, so no need to overly emphasize about it, it’s a game.

megan on

If you look below her right arm, there’s a little bit of the side of her sweater visible. Which means there’s no way in heck she’s belly down on that chair or crouching in an intricate pose. It’s bad photoshopping, pure and simple

grandma on

Whose foot is that? Since there is no way it can be attached to her nonexistent body. Freaky pic.

Vila on

Um where is this woman’s feet in the picture?

megan on

She and the baby are looking in different directions. That’s another tell it’s a photoshop

Mel on

Glad she has a good sense to teach her child to be grounded at the his early age.

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