Monday, May 11, 2009

About My Disappearance.........

I suppose the best place to begin about the Morgan horse show this weekend would be to explain how it came to be I was there in the first place. It's funny how simple little things can come back and impact us later when we least expect it.

Several years ago when I was managing the Daffodil Arabian Horse Summer Show, I got a call from a gentleman inquiring about being a videographer at my horse show. It's a small horse show with usually just a little over a hundred horses so I wasn't really sure if there would be enough interest to actually charge him for a booth. However, since it is an entry level show known to be "the" place to begin in the Arabian horse circuit, I thought it would be a helpful tool for the exhibitors.

I told the man he was welcome to come give it a try as long as he would provide the show with video of the reining classes free of charge. USEF rules require if a videographer is available, the show is required to have video of all reining classes. The show couldn't really afford to incur those additional charges and I wasn't sure it would be fair to charge him for vendor space at such a small show so this was a good compromise for both parties.

When the actual show came along, I met this gentleman, Dave, and his girlfriend, Lynn. I made it a point throughout the show to check with them and see how things were going and, of course, we did a bit of chit chatting along the way.

Over the next several years, Dave and Lynn were a fixture at both of the horse shows I managed for the Daffodil Arabian Horse Association. And as I got to know them better, I learned that Lynn was also a show manager. Although unlike me, Lynn was not a volunteer to that position. She was one of many professional show managers across the country.

Lynn and I had many a conversation over the trials of being a show manager. We also had a few about her role as a professional show manager. Mostly the conversations about being paid to do the job happened after I resigned my position as manager on both Daffodil horse shows.

Too many years of being taken for granted had burned me out. Also I wasn't getting my own horses shown because I carried way too much stress at a horse show I was managing to even think about riding. I was also missing so much work in the planning process throughout the year that I didn't really have the money to show at shows I wasn't managing. So being a volunteer was costing me more than I could continue to afford.

Somewhere along the way I learned that the original horse show turned out to be Dave's very first horse show as a professional videographer. I think that "break" I had given him probably contributed to the friendship that developed even though I hadn't realized the "gift" I had given him until years later.

At some point I learned that Dave and Lynn had plans of retiring and moving to Kentucky to work on her daughter's Morgan horse breeding farm. There were even little jokes about me taking over as manager of the Morgan shows here after Lynn retired. At least to me, they were jokes. Now I must wonder if maybe Lynn wasn't planting a seed that might be useful to her later.

It was at the same Daffodil Arabian Horse Summer Show (although it was not the same year as Dave began with his videography) that I gave my friend, Bev, her first shot at being a horse show secretary. However, when I quit as manager, the board of directors of Daffodil replaced Bev as secretary as well.

At the time, they used the excuse the new (really old before my tenure) show manager brought along his own show secretary. When that manager resigned as well Daffodil found themselves again needing both a manager and a show secretary. It was clear then they had no intentions of using Bev again. To my thinking that was their loss. It was this type of action on their part that had caused my resignation in the first place. Their "clique" mentality wasn't conducive to my idea of a smooth running exhibitor friendly horse show. It's hard to keep the exhibitors happy when there is derision among the troops.

Despite this rejection of Bev's talents by the Daffodil club, there were plenty of other horse clubs needing the talents of a show secretary. Bev was able to work on a number of horse shows in both the hunter jumper circuit and the Morgan horse circuit.

When the word came down last year the Morgan Horse Club of Washington was looking for a show manager, Bev asked me if I was interested. I decided with Dave having a lay off in the works, it would be a good idea to at least speak with them and see what they had they had to offer.

To be continued.............

Part 2

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1 comment:

  1. I enjoy reading yur blog and many of those show/club experiences were echoed in my time in the english riding clubs shows, never enough volunteers/committee to help set out and pack up, ends up in a few stalwarts being totally burned out, or the clique thing, seems to be an unfortunate normal for most clubs. Glad to are getting some of your own me time with your horses.