I was one of the driving club volunteers manning the table at the local Expo. We had quite a few folks stopping by to learn more, find equipment, trainers, learn about the club and what we do.
We have not done the Expo for several years and I had forgotten how many people we had visit us! Seems like a lot of new folks want to get started, no clue how to dive in. Many Mini owners who “think or heard” their Mini drives, but people don’t. Who gives refresher training or driving lessons? Other folks want to get their horse started driving, need help.
We all talked our heads off using our props of posters, photos of correct turnouts, selling locations or ideas to move old vehicles along that they never use. Have to say it had me scrambling to answer them! Ha ha We threw out trainer friends’ names and numbers, passed out our reference folders with harness makers, repair shops for carriages, new harness sellers. Places to source things they needed for equipment they already have. Emphasized checking older harness and vehicles over before using them. Wheel greasing and checking they were solid before hitching.
We sold all our Doris Ganton’s Training The Driving Horse books. That has been our top best seller for years! Ha ha One lady said she had trained 3 driving horses using the old VHS tape that followed the book. Said they all drove beautifully for years! We heard lots of other stories from our visitors of their past driving experiences, good and bad.
We sold a lot of our Club stock of triangle signs, reflective back shirts for cars behind your vehicle or riding horse, proper driving whips too. No one else seems to carry anything but plastic whips that are so heavy. The triangle signs with velcro go on all kinds of vehicles so easily that people really like their versitility! One man got two, said he missed us when we had not attended Expo. His old sign was worn out, NEEDED the new ones for his lawnmower and tractor! Ha ha We stress safety a lot, hoping the visitors can retain our helpful information when they start their driving time.
Expo is another sign spring is coming, even with snow almost daily now! So fun to meet so many people that want to drive their equines! Our Club covers quite a few facets in driving interests with the show, recreational drives and campouts, a clinic or two each year. Speakers on various interesting topics for our Zoom winter meetings. So something for almost any driving interest to participate in.