December 2, 2011

What's your 'elevator speech'?

Once again, there’s no lesson wrap up this week because Thursday just didn’t work out schedule-wise.  We’ll reschedule, though.

Last night, at our Young Professionals’ organization’s Board of Directors retreat, I found myself making small talk with the people I’ve been serving on the board with, but haven’t really gotten to know yet.  The subject of my frequent Facebook posts about horses came up, and some of them had curious questions about my sport, my pony, and my barn.  Eventing is not a popular sport (not in the sense of say, football) anywhere, but it certainly isn’t in central Indiana.  Usually, there are questions like, “Wait, are you teaching lessons or taking them?” “Why are you still taking lessons?” “Why is your barn so far away?”, things that you’d never understand unless you were familiar with the industry.

Earlier in the meeting, we’d been talking about what our “elevator speech” was for CYP, and it struck me as I was describing eventing that I’ve developed my own elevator speech about it as a result of being asked about it so many times.  Typically, I say, “It’s a sort of equine triathlon that has its roots in the old cavalry testing in the military.  They’d use it to determine how capable a horse and rider were of handling military service.  Today, it’s an Olympic event.”  Then, if they seem interested or ask more questions, I go into more detail, but for most non-horsey people, that’s enough.

What’s your elevator speech about your equine pursuits?  (An elevator speech, in business terms, is the speech you’d give if the CEO of the company you wanted to work for stepped into an elevator with you, and you only had the time it took to get to your floor to sell yourself to him.)  Even those of you in more horse-friendly areas have to have one – there are always questions.  I’ve also got one about Welsh Cobs, which goes something like, “They were ponies bred to keep up with warhorses in stride, and also to be hardy enough to survive on very little during times of war.  Now they’re typically used as driving or Dressage mounts for women, but we’re aiming to change that.”

So if you had to sell me the idea of what you do with your horse, no matter what that is, in an elevator ride, what would that be?

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