Also, I must warn you that I might not be very funny, because, well, I am not feeling happy tonight.
Somewhere, back in the history of my blog, I covered what I like to call the "Pretty in Breakfast" syndrome. This is my scientifically created term for the fact that in our sport there is a large contingent of self important assholes who, although they have done nothing in particular of note in their dressage careers (or even if they have), grow some sort of poles up their tight little sphincters and decide that they are simply too special to even acknowledge the lowly adult amateurs in this sport (unless - of course - these amateurs are, at that particular moment, actively involved in placing money in the hands of said ass-rodded people).
These sorts might involve Gha-mann coaches who have no problem taking +$2000 of a client's money to pretend to train obviously untrainable ponies. While at the same time pushing expensive dressage horses upon them instead. Then later refusing to even acknowledge the presence of life beside them in the stir-fry line at Palgrave.
Or, they might be cocky jerk riders who decide to wander off with volunteer whipper-in's schedule lists. They are important and busy, and need to know what is going on, right? And because of this, they are entitled to create panic among volunteers, and then look at them like they are dirt when (after searching crazily for their list for 5 minutes) they ask desperately for their return so they can keep the show running on schedule. And, as an added touch to lighten things up, the cocky jerk riders have the right to make fun of the volunteers to make their friends laugh. Don't they? (oops, haven't told that story yet, have I).
But there are, out there, a few dressage pros who apparently didn't get the memo. And so, they are strangely nice, for no particular reason.
When I was first starting out at shows back at training level - putting in awful, amateurish training level tests - I am sure most coaches (including my own) were more than prepared to totally ignore me, lest anyone in the immediate vicinity get any impression that they were at all responsible for my scary riding.
But there was this one guy out there - I could never remember his name, he was short, good looking, and had dark hair (but as mentioned earlier there is a whole flock of these here in Ontario) who always smiled. And said hello. While working patiently with other horrible adult amateurs like me.
If I was scribing - he looked me in the eye, and said hello.
Stir-fry line - hello.
Disgusting mud washstalls at Palgrave - hello.
Tent ghetto stables - hello.
It was almost eerie. He was nice. And friendly. For no apparent reason, other than because that is just what people who aren't jerks do. (I would have thought maybe he had a "thing" for me, but I am pretty sure I am not his type).
So anyways, when the time came eventually that I knew I had to change coaches - I of course decided that he was #1 to consider. I had to figure out his name to accomplish this - and his name was (if you haven't figured it out by now) David Marcus.
But, the stars did not align, as I recall he did not have his own barn at the time and deciding to jump ship to join a nomadic coach is generally not a good move. And so, after a few pleasant conversations on the phone, I decided to head another direction - he supported my decision, said it was a good one and said nothing but complimentary things regarding the coach I chose instead. He wished me the best. And I really felt he meant it.
A few years later on - when Ms. V and I were practicing overcoming our fears of trailering and overnighting in new places (probably more on my part than Ms. V's I am not too proud to admit), my coach at the time suggested that I contact David Marcus and ask if Ms. V and I could create our own "mini-clinic sleepover party" type deal at his beautiful new barn to get some exposure. He happily obliged. We spent an excellent weekend there, had a few great lessons, he rode Ms. V and was nothing but positive about her or her potential to continue advancing up the levels... and to top it all off... he charged me an absolute pittance for the whole affair. Who knows, maybe he owed my coach a favour, or something deeper than I knew was going on behind the scenes that I was not privy to. But really - I don't think so. I think he is just a genuinely nice person.
And even later on - when things turned ugly where I was, and people had to make decisions on where to go instead... uhh...well, you will have to wait and see how it is I decide to unwind this one, because even I am not sure yet. As the guy on "Tales from the Riverbank" used to say.. "that's another story"
|Are you sure this is England? It looks like Switzerland.|
Long story short - David Marcus came through for many people. I stuck it out where I was, and to this day, do sometimes wonder..what if.
So, anyways...when his whole fairy-tale came true, and he got a fabulous new sponsor, amazing horse, and was off to the Olympics... I was sure that the bitch Karma finally had things right. She was going to pay him back for all of the times he was nice. And normal. And friendly. She would show those fucking stir-fry snubbers.
But, this is dressage. And horses are horses. And life, for the most part, can be so incredibly disappointing. I am imagining the sinking feeling of my very worst ever dressage test (ridden in front of probably 5 spectators, only 2 of whom actually gave a flying fuck about what was going on and only because they are my parents and feel obliged to do so) and multiplying it by some large number. Even then, I am not sure I have it just right.
Arrgh. Like Mr. and Mrs. Curmudgeon said in my last post ..."nobody said life had to be fair". Sometimes I really do resent recent events. And - just to be clear - I am not saying all this because I am super close to David Marcus, or hang out with him in my spare time,. Really, he probably has no idea who I am, other than being some person that he says Hi to. Just like he does to everyone else.
Now..this being dressage - not everyone has this opinion. It takes a long time to shove that angry rod up your ass, and hey, you earned it, right? And so, if you are among the "I didn't make it to the Olympics yet, and David Marcus did, and I deserved it way more than he does" crowd, you may smugly be thinking that Karma is right on track.
You are assholes. Get a life.