As I start filling my calendar with shows to work this coming year I am getting really excited for show season to be in full swing. It also has me reflecting on what I’ve learned in the past few years getting to work different positions at different shows and scribing countless runs. I thought that I would share some of them with you.
- If your shirt matches your saddle pad make sure that it matches when your standing across the arena from it. Everyone will be seeing your cool shirt and pad from a ways off so they won’t pick up those subtle color matches.
- Don’t put your number in number protector sleeves or laminated. It makes a glare when your riding around and the light hits it just right blinding the judge. Also, make sure your number is easy to read. As a scribe, announcer or gate person it’s something we try and check each run and makes our job a little easier when we can read it.
- Don’t be the person that takes forever to get in or out of the arena. Most of the people working shows work them because they really love it but, when they are watching over a 100 runs it is really hard to stay on tip top shape over multiple days when people take longer then necessary to start their pattern or get out of the arena. Also, working the gate is hard and having to beg people to go in makes for a really long day.
- Know what the rules are and be familiar with what the rulebook says. I see lots of people go in not knowing the rules or what the rule book is calling for in each class as credit earning or diminishing factors.
The last and most important thing I want to leave you with is 5. I have been able to work with a bunch of judges over the past few years and I have been blown away with how hard each and everyone of them work to make the correct calls, be on the top of their game constantly studying and discussing with others what the industry is wanting and getting better. I have yet to work with a judge that was unfair. Yet, I hear lot’s of complaining that this isn’t how it really is. When I was showing for NJC at the collegiate finals it was very apparent that they were scoring the Texas teams much higher then the others, when I came home and complained to my trainer he simply responded. “I don’t want to hear it, if you had made no mistakes and were perfect they wouldn’t have had an excuse.” As much as I didn’t want to hear this it was exactly what I needed to hear. We should be working on ourselves and doing the best that we can and letting the chips fall as they may. No matter what I am sure that their is something that you could have done better or wish you didn’t do. Instead of throwing your sucker in the dirt and saying it was unfair, look at what you could have done better that’s something you can control and something you can get better at.
I hope that I get to see you down the road and that you have a fabulous show season!