|LWSC Jumper Show, June 2019|
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.