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The Inclusion Revolution: How to Make the Stock Horse Show World More Welcoming

A quick blurb from a millennial creatives perspective in the industry she loves.


Listen up, my fellow stock horse show exhibitors! It's time for us to step up our game and become the welcoming committee that new novice exhibitors need. We can't keep acting like we're a part of some exclusive club that only a select few can join. It's time to roll out the red carpet and show these newbies what the stock horse show world is all about.



The Little Buckeye - 2022 @ Garwood Arena


So why should we care about being more inclusive? Well, firstly, it's just plain old-fashioned kindness. Remember when you were new to the sport? Remember how intimidating it was to show up to a show and feel like you didn't belong, especially that first breed show? We have the power to change that experience for the better. We can be the friendly faces that make those novice exhibitors feel welcome and supported.


But it's not just about being nice - it's also about helping to grow the sport. The more people we can bring into the world of stock horse shows, the better it is for everyone. More exhibitors mean more opportunities for growth and advancement in the sport, and more resources for all of us to enjoy.


So, what can we do to be more welcoming and inclusive? For starters, we can stop acting like we're in some kind of elite club. Yes, we're all here because we love the sport, but that doesn't mean we can't make room for new faces. Let's be open and approachable, and make an effort to reach out to new beginners and make them feel like part of the community.


We can also offer our expertise and advice to those who are just starting out. Remember, we were all beginners once, and we all had to learn the ropes at some point. By sharing our knowledge and experience, we can help these novice riders feel more confident and prepared for shows.



It's time for a revolution - an inclusion revolution, that is.


And everyone has a part to play in making the stock horse show world more welcoming to newbies.


Why Is This Topic So Important?


 

Why Is This Topic So Important?


Veteran exhibitors, we've already talked about how important it is for us to be more open and approachable. But what about show management & trainers? We can they do to create a more inclusive environment for new beginners?


Let's be the welcome wagon that new beginners deserve. Let's show them that the stock horse show world is a friendly and inclusive community where everyone is welcome. And who knows - maybe we'll even make some new friends along the way.


Here are some tips for show management and trainers to help boost moral for our newbies:


Tip #1: Offer Novice-Friendly Classes


This one is a no-brainer. If you want to attract new beginners to the sport, you need to offer classes that are designed for them. Consider adding classes that are specifically geared towards the novice riders, such as walk-trot or intro-level classes.


Tip #2: Host Clinics & Workshops


Show management and trainers can also organize clinics and workshops that are designed to help new novice riders learn the ropes. These can be focused on specific skills, such as showmanship or horsemanship, or they can be more general and cover a range of topics. Perhaps even a deep dive into understanding a showbill or the association's rules.


The Ohio Amateur Quarter Horse Association does a fabulous job at putting on a "Ride The Pattern" Clinic Series for their The Little Buckeye show.


Tip #3: Be Approachable & Available


Show management and trainers should also make themselves available for those novice beginners navigating a breed show for the first time. Make sure that there's always someone around who can answer questions and offer guidance. Be approachable and friendly, and create an environment that's welcoming to everyone.


Tip #4: Foster A Sense of Community


Finally, show management & trainers can help to foster a sense of community amongst exhibitors. This can be done through social events, such as potlucks or BBQ's, or even starting some non-horse related fun like cornhole or a chili cookoff.


So there you have it, folks - a few tips for making the stock horse show world more inclusive and welcome to new novice riders entering into our part of the industry. Remember, it's up to all of us to create a more open and approachable environment. Let's be the change we want to see in this little corner of the world, and let's make the stock horse show industry a place where everyone feels welcome and supported.


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