Despite a global pandemic, Taylor Griffiths-Madden finished her last year as a junior strong. She secured the win at the 2020 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final at the Tryon International Equestrian Center before moving on to take fourth at the 2020 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals and reserve champion at the 2020 ASPCA Maclay National Championship at the National Horse Show in Lexington, KY. Taylor had already taken reserve champion at the 2020 North American Junior Equitation Championship in Wilmington, Ohio’s Capital Challenge Horse Show earlier in the season, and her USEF Hunter Seat Medal win, combined with her second-place finish in the Maclay, gave her the points needed to also secure the coveted Wilson Dennehy Equitation Trophy.
This January, the 18-year-old freshman will be moving to Dallas, Texas, where she will attend Southern Methodist University (SMU) and compete on their equestrian team. While she began taking online classes in August, this coming semester will be her first on campus. Back home in Wellington, Fla., she has been able to enjoy some well-deserved down time with her own Mac One III, or “Mac,” whom she has owned and piloted for the past three years.
Now that indoors are over, Taylor is able to take some days off, and walked us through her typical Monday off.
Starbucks and Pilates
Days off start with an ice chai latte from Starbucks before heading to pilates at Pilates Core Arena.
“Mondays are our day off together as a family,” Taylor says of her mom, trainer Jennifer Madden and stepdad, trainer Frank Madden, “but I haven’t quite gotten back into a routine since returning from indoors. We have been going to pilates together for four years. I’ll bring friends with me as well, which is nice because you get to hang out with your friends while working out. After we leave pilates, my mom and I typically go to the gym and run for 20 minutes, or sometimes we’ll lift weights.”
Taylor pauses post-flip.
Day Off Stretches with Mac One III
After the gym and a trip to Dover for treats, Taylor heads to the barn to see Mac.
“I do stretches with him every morning, all the way to his butt in both directions. He’s like my child… he’s literally my obsession. He’s being leased out when I go to Texas – I don’t think I could handle him leaving. Mac is my only horse, but some days I’ll also go to other barns and help school horses as well.
“Mac loves horses – LOVES horses, but hates people. He likes his own species, but I like horses more than people sometimes too, so he has the right idea. He’s not very nice and doesn’t like to take pictures – he likes to bite. He’s much better when he has a bridle on!"
Mac One III showing off his 'faces'
“For lunch, I’ll typically do salad if I want to be healthier – my favorite is Field of Greens. I also like acai bowls, but they’re full of sugar… and if I’m eating one, it has to Nutella in it. Another one of my favorite restaurants is Voi-La.”
A break from classes with an acai bowl from Voi-La
That Post-Indoor Homework Grind
“I’m still working on catching up on all the homework I didn’t do during indoors. I’m taking a writing requirement course, Spanish, which is very intense, and Philosophy – I don’t know what I've gotten myself into there. I tried to keep my schedule light for indoors, because I’ve worked my whole life for the past month. Luckily, you can go back online and watch anything that you missed. I try to finish as much as I can so that I can hang out with my friends at night. There isn’t a ton to do [in Wellington], so I’ll usually just go over to one of their houses or we’ll drive around, listen to music, and talk. We don’t go that far, the farthest we’ll drive is Lake Worth, and then we make a big circle around Wellington. We’ve gone to food truck nights in the past as well.
“One of my close friends [and winner of the 2020 USET Finals aboard her 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Copperfield 39] is Elli Yeager, so we hang out all the time. She’s coming to SMU next year too, so we recently set up a picture for her signing. We set up a table outside and a banner with balloons – we really went all out for it.”
Hanging out with friend and future SMU classmate, Elli Yeager (left)
Takeout and Netflix
“I typically do hang out with my friends a lot at night, but it kind of depends on who’s around. A lot of my friends have already gone to college, which I will do soon, too. I hang out with Elli every day, but we’ll switch it up – if we’re in a good mood and want to dress up, we’ll go somewhere like Echo, but we do tend to get takeout a lot. Sometimes we’ll get takeout then sit in the car and watch Netflix, but we eat at a lot of local places too, like Agliolio, La Fogata, and Oli’s.”
A souffle from Echo
Thank you for taking us along for your day off, Taylor, and good luck at SMU!
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