So the worst possible thing happened…
You may not be aware of this yet, but I have been known for idolizing Beezie Madden from time to time. And those of you that know me know that what I just said is likely the biggest understatement of the year.
I got to spend some time with her and her husband John this summer at Spruce Meadows shadowing and learning, and yet I never did ride in front of her until…
We were showing at Tbird this August and I hear that the Maddens are coming to jump the World Cup Qualifier and I’m very excited because Arthur has been going great! I had signed up to ride with Lauren Crooks for our time at Tbird, and was getting great help. Everything points to a super first impression!
I ride into the GP ring at Tbird week II and Arthur is nervous – he is never nervous. Nonetheless we get all the way to the last fence of our course and I go to ride up to the jump on a funny bending line, and the short version is it was much too far away and I had no other choice but to jump without him. He ever so politely waits for me to get up off the ground and we walk out together none the worse for wear.
And although I was of course disappointed with myself it paled in comparison to when I watched my video back and as I’m trotting in I see Beezie on the berm with Darry Lou watching me!
This is my first impression to her of my riding. Shit!
Later that day I tell John how embarrassed I was, and in true Madden style John says to me, “You know Beezie has fallen off a lot too.” So kind of him, as per their normal way, and I guess what he was implying is just get back on and keep going: it happens to the best and the only way to get better is to keep going.
I will endeavour to leave a better second impression. Those count too, right?
Trying to find the silver lining in this debacle, I decided three things I was proud of:
Arthur waited for me and we walked out together as a team;
When the paramedic came to speak to me to make sure I was ok I took time to answer her questions instead of being so angry at myself and lashing out at those around me;
I recognized my mistake and didn’t spiral down the old “I suck, I should quit, this is a sign from God that I’m not supposed to ride” of last year, and focused on what to do different going forward.
These did not make the day much easier however the truth is everybody has bad days, even the #queenofshowjumping