At every event I’ve ever thrown in my life, there is a split second of calm before the storm. That nerve-wracking moment when preparation is complete, guests are about to come, and you suddenly ask yourself, “what if no one comes?”
And then the guests mill in, the event is great, and you are left with nothing but confidence until that moment pops in again.
I had just finished a flurry of table set-up for the PCHA Convention and Banquet at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center and was looking upon the arena seating that would be filled in just a few minutes. Except it wasn’t yet. The arena was filled with jumps for all clinic types and perfectly decorated. Colleges lined the outside of the ring to discuss options with future students. I looked at Diane Carney and said that I hoped a lot of people would come.
Diane calmly replied, “We’re here for the people who show up.”
It was so simple.
We are here for the people who show up.
So much of our lives, we are so worried about what people think of us. How our event will go, who will read our article, if something will go viral, and if our community will respond or be part of something. But, most fundamentally, at the end of the day, we’re here to serve, teach, interact, and have fun with the people who show up. Because if people aren’t interacting, clicking, showing up, and wanting to learn—if they don’t want it—we can’t make them. We can only help the people who want it. Who show up. Who are present. Who want to learn and be better and improve themselves.
The Plaid Horse’s team works tirelessly managing The Plaid Horse Adult Amateur Lounge and developing content for the magazine, blog, and podcast to help people learn, think, and be involved in the future of this sport and industry. It’s my job to support events that have extraordinary educational opportunities and are exceptionally produced–such as the PCHA Convention, which featured clinics by US Olympic Gold Medalist Laura Kraut, Jack Towell, Carleton Brooks, Carney, and Tonya Johnston.
If you “want it,” it’s your job to show up. To take notes. To review those notes. To think about it later. To clear your mind to learn. To stretch the knowledge that you are comfortable with.
Show up. In all meanings of the word.
Piper Klemm, Ph.D.
Follow me on Instagram at @piperklemm
Photos by Cira Malta, Adam Hill, Piper Klemm
*This story was originally published in the February 2023 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!