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An equestrian query to my non-equestrian friends:

What (if anything) would inspire you to attend a WK equestrian event or activity? Another way to put this is Is there anything you can think of that would make attendence worth your while? The promise of a good show? To help out a friend? Education? Free food?

Date: 2011-01-10 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
parimutuel betting.
ok, joking, but I'll think about it and see if I can come up with some answers. Although helping out a friend is probably the main reason I'd go.

Date: 2011-01-10 04:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmmmm, I tried to go to a few things when I was princess and was... well I was kind of actively encouraged NOT to come play... It is an unfortunate reality that one or two really bad apples can give an off color to what is otherwise an amazingly giving group. I am not sure what would help? In my experience with autocratting events if you make it seem like it is going to be the MOST fun in the WORLD and have a good range of activities, these two things can make a big difference. We are a pretty social group at the end of the day.

Date: 2011-01-10 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've never been to an SCA equestrian event, but I've been to modern horse racing & watched friends & my MIL ride modern dressage. I also like watching horse events in the Olympics. And I love jousting when renfaires have it. So I'm open to watching horses & people do neat stuff!

But I don't know anything about SCA equestrian events - what happens? Is it fun to watch? What else goes on? As with many SCA events, there's no publicity & no encouragement to ppl who aren't already interested, so equestrian events don't seem welcoming to newcomers & non-horse-riders. If I were suitably encouraged to come, I might. Also, once I was there, I'd appreciate some guidance about what is happening a la a play-by-play announcer or a handout explaining what to watch for or a pre-event class on what to look for. For example, when renfaires have jousts, announcers give a little history of jousting before it starts & as the event is happening, they talk up each combatant.

Date: 2011-01-10 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Having attended one EQ event in the last 1.5 years, I'd have to say that my experience was pleasant, but I definitely felt like there was nothing for the non-horse person to do other than be a spectator. Which was fine for me, because I'm easily amused, but I could see how it might be difficult for a person who doesn't ride, isn't into horses, and doesn't really understand what the whole equestrian thing is about, to feel as though there's really nothing for them at these events.

My suggestion would be to have some non-horse centered activities incorporated into the event. Incorporate a period feast after the riding is over. At the event I went to, seating was minimal around the arena and it was hot, so maybe having a place where people can set up day shades and sit and relax would be a good idea, but I do understand how you guys are kind of limited by the infrastructure you have on hand for that sort of thing. Maybe organize an intro to EQ for non-riders, like what is this thing about? What do all these various terms mean? Meet and greet the ponies? I'm just throwing ideas out there...

But yeah, I think the biggest feeling I got is that EQ is so focused on EQ that anything else outside of EQ registers. So, if you want to draw non-EQ people into the fold, there should be a concession to that incorporated into the event itself. Dancing, feasting, maybe even fighting, archery... Pull in the other areas of the SCA and you'll definitely start seeing interest build in the general populace going to EQ-centered events.

Just my $0.02!

Date: 2011-01-10 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think Sarah summed up my thoughts pretty well. There seems a strong separation between horsey folk & non. I suppose the fighters feel the same way about the dancers as do any of anumber of ill-matched pairs.

What's your goal, CallistoToni? Do you want assistants? Are you recruiting new horsey folk? Seeking an audience for your art form/sport? When you know what your goal is, I think you'll find your answer.

Date: 2011-01-10 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am still a fan of a ride + meal at the end - us non-riders could even prep food and stuffs which would give us something to do. =)

Date: 2011-01-10 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
now that I've thought a little more - Generally EQ things have not seemed friendly to this non-EQ'rs. We have to sign a special waiver, people seem worried that 'non-horsey people' might upset the horses, and you have to qualify as ground crew before going near an event. (note that none of this except the waiver is probably true, but it's more of a perception.) I really like when horses can go out on the tourney field and do stuff.
I don't think I'd go to just an EQ event - there'd have to be something else that I could do as well. Free food isn't really a draw for me. ;-)
Maybe (referring to your facebook post) a Unicorn Tapestries picnic? With horses playing the part of the unicorns?
sorry, joking there too.

Date: 2011-01-11 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Children. If my baby wanted to ride, I'd take her to an EQ event that was loudly and prominently advertised as being kid-centric. Probably not even just an, "Oh yeah, we'd allow your kid there" event, because I don't want to bother real riders and grownups.

Ellen spoke with Puppy about riding at 12th Night and she seemed enthused, so I'm willing to give it a go, even tho' I HATE and am TERRIFIED of horses. OK, if you added remedial horse therapy to a kids riding day, I'd really be there!

Date: 2011-01-11 04:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
EQ events are very specifically focused on the horses and riders.

I have gone to 2 EQ events. Each time I went was because I was asked to work. It was fun to participate in a limited way, and people were very nice to me for helping, but I can't get excited about going to an EQ event with nothing to do.

I agree that a little more shade for spectators would be good, and perhaps a break in the middle of the day for a picnic might be fun. That could be the time for educating for us non-riders on some aspect of horses and what you are doing.

Date: 2011-01-11 07:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Here's maybe a peculiar take on EQ. Many years ago, I was at least marginally involved in riding. (Not in the SCA -- mundanely.) I even once spent a summer training an adopted mustang on my aunt's farm. I enjoyed it but wasn't really in a situation (financially or socially) where I could get more seriously involved with horses.

As a result, I'm simultaneously in a head-space where I appreciate the difficulties and dedication involved in working with horses ... but I also am definitely not a "novice" around horses. The first item means that I don't see myself getting deeply involved with equestrian activities in the SCA simply because I don't have the bandwidth to "do it right". But the second means that I'm uncomfortable with the SCA's entirely understandable need to treat everyone as an "equestrian ignoramus" unless and until they've gone through the SCA's own training and accreditation program.

In the end, I haven't felt like jumping through the SCA's hoops to prove that I'm ok to be around horses when, in the end, jumping through those hoops wouldn't put me in a position where I could do anything particularly fun and interesting with horses. I can occasionally enjoy being a spectator, but when it comes down to it I don't enjoy being a mere spectator. When I'm spectating, I'd rather be riding ... and since I'm not in a position to be a rider, I'm disinclined to be a spectator.

Does this make any sense? It doesn't really answer your question from a practical point of view.

Date: 2011-01-11 02:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It makes perfect sense to me and was very much my personal take on Eq when I lived in Atlantia (and my horse lived in Southern California).

Date: 2011-01-11 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
FWIW It sounds like there may be a need for some public relations about the rules change from 3 years ago and how much more streamlined Eq is now.

I wonder if offer "Horse 101" classes has made people think they are a requirement?
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