Successfully Dealing with Imperfections During a Horse Competition

country tough trail versatility equine competition horsemanship and training Feb 13, 2024
Dealing with Imperfections

As a host, you are not going to be perfect.  As soon as you can come to terms with this inevitable truth, you will regain hours of sleep and find a peace of mind that is priceless.  Follow me through a journey of a few of my face first fumbles I have encountered as a host.

#1  Materials did not arrive.

I have had buckles not arrive on time.  There is a 4-8 week delay in the time you order buckles and their arrival time.  Go ahead and take a picture with the buckle winner.  If you have any other buckles sitting around, have them hold that buckle and do a picture that is not a close up.  Or, take a photo of them on their equine.  You still need to market your event and celebrate the champions.  When the buckles do arrive, congratulate the champions again with a picture of their buckle.  If you have not ordered the buckles yet, have their name placed on the buckle. 

#2  You enforced the rules incorrectly.

You have just got to keep going forward and not make the same mistakes in the future.  This is why work experience is priceless.  You cannot teach experience.  Always stand behind your judges and show grace.  You know that they do not want to make mistakes and are doing the very best they can on that particular day.  Mistakes happen.

#3  Event is going at a snail’s pace

Take charge!  If people are not where they need to be, go get them.  If the event is running slow because of you, step back assess the situation and make changes.  Sometimes this can be done immediately and sometimes you will just need to make changes for the next event.  I used to have competitors fill out entries forms with their address and contact information.  I now realize that once I have that information I need nothing more than their name and what division they are competing in. 

#4 Everything is going wrong

Stop the event and have a meeting with everyone.  They will appreciate the honesty and will help you get everything moving again.  When you are going through a bad event, so are the competitors.  Get a clean slate and then to moving!  Putting on events is a lot harder than one might think; it is ok to regroup. 

Before you host an event you just need to take a deep breath and come to terms with the fact that you are not perfect and neither are any of the competitors.  Just keep going.  Do not lose sight of the happiness you had when you booked the event.  The first event is always the hardest, and they do get easier.

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