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Jackie Geewax Vincent '04

April 19, 2016
by Jackie Geewax Vincent '04

Horses teach you responsibility, and Madeira made that lesson accessible to us every day. Rather than sulk on the weekends because I could not go out like other kids my age, I bounded up the hill to the barn and spent my days there, immersed in the smells and sounds that any horse lover is familiar with. It wasn’t just about the riding, but about the camaraderie: with both the horses, and my fellow equestrians.

My senior year, my roommate and I, both working students for our trainers at the time, proposed a radical idea to the administration: let us go to the Florida show circuits on the weekends. Let us miss school. We’re ready, we swear. We both ended up working out arrangements that allowed us to miss half of Thursday classes and all of Friday to fly down and work our butts off, all for the sport we loved. The lessons learned about responsibility, both to ourselves and our education, would be put to the test. I won’t lie and say that it was a cakewalk – I remember a particularly heated phone call with my mother over a terrible midterm AP Calculus grade (which probably would have been terrible no matter what). But I hauled my books and laptop down to West Palm Beach every weekend, and diligently turned in any classwork early, in order to make the situation work for everyone. I learned a lot that spring. I learned how to multitask. I learned how to prioritize. I learned how much I would sacrifice for something that made me ridiculously happy.

I had an amazing spring that year, filled with experiences and exposure that could never be duplicated. Without Madeira’s support, it would have never happened. I am now almost 30 and married, and still an equestrian. I juggle a different set of priorities, but the experiences afforded to me by Madeira and their commitment to equestrians helps make this possible, every single day.