Monday, June 3, 2019

Getting from point A to point B

How is it June already? While this year hasn't quite gone to plan, the months keep flying by, and here we are with show season in full swing. The barn is busy with plenty of lessons to teach and client horses to ride as I continuing to look for my next event prospect. It's taking a bit longer than I'd hoped, but I want to do things differently this time around, so I'm trying to be patient and remind myself it will all happen in due time. Meanwhile, life goes on and my students, equine and human, are growing by leaps and bounds!

LWSC Jumper Show, June 2019
This past weekend we went to a local jumper show. I competed 2 horses and coached 7 students. I was so proud of my group. They bathed their horses, cleaned their tack, managed to load/unload all of their gear into various trailers, and they all rode well. Everyone remembered their courses (a huge feat in itself), took home ribbons, and most importantly they accomplished their goals. It was a big undertaking to have such a large group, and yet it all went smoothly, reminding me just how amazing this group is. It isn't just the riders, it's the friends/parents/children of the riders who came to cheer them on, the fellow barn mates who brought snacks, the students who trailered horses to and from the show, and the owners who entrusted their steeds to me and/or my students. It's often said it takes a village and this weekend it most certainly did. What a wonderful village we have.

And while the show this weekend was a success, I can't help but feel a bit sad as I see posts from all of my friends who were off eventing this weekend. It was the second event of the season in our area and I feel like I'm missing out. I feel guilty for feeling that way. My students were amazing, and I'm proud of what they're accomplishing, and yet I'm struggling with trying to work out how to get from point A to point B. The majority of my students are adults, with a handful of teens mixed in. They lead busy lives with school or full time jobs, spouses, and kids. They're all ready to compete at the lower levels, but getting away for 4 days to attend an event is tough, so many of them choose to go to schooling shows/derbies to maximize their dollar.

Looking at this weekends results, there's a clear link between trainers that are actively competing and their businesses which are actively growing. Regardless of how good those trainers are as teachers, we are all ultimately attracted to those that are out there doing it. I've had my share of wins but time has gone on, and people seem to forget. They don't pay attention to what you did, only what you're doing now. I know that in for things to progress I need to be pursuing my own competitive goals (which sadly, require a horse to compete). To do that, I need to expand my base of clientele. With no horse to compete, it's hard to attract new clients. In this moment, it feels like I'm swimming upstream.

Point A is where we are today. It's a fun, supportive group of horsemen who truly love their horses and riding and are dedicated to being the best that they can be. Point B is getting that group to grow and build a program that will compete at the recognized events. I'm not sure how to get others to see just how fantastic our little barn family is how to get them to join in this journey. How I bridge the gap from point A to point B remains a work in progress. 

1 comment:

  1. In a way, I feel the same. I’m very glad I was able to go to the show this weekend, but I also saw posts from people I know who were eventing this weekend, and couldn’t help but think, that’s what I want to be doing. I just always feel so lost, left out, and discouraged when I see all these girls the same age as me being able to have their own horse that they’re able to go out and do big events on. I know you don’t HAVE to own a horse to do things like these, but it just seems so much more difficult to achieve. I just always feel like things aren’t on my side, even though I have so much. I feel guilty, and that I should appreciate what I have more.