Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Secretary-ing 101

Well, I got my first show as secretary/manager off without too many hitches.  There was only one major screw-up on my part, but it was caught and fixed before it could really become a problem.

Thankfully, the GMO I was secretary-ing the show for is a really great group of people who watch out for each other and are more than happy to volunteer.  That's a real plus, because I really couldn't have done it without them.

Managing and secretary-ing a show doesn't take a lot of smarts, but it does take a lot of organizational skills.  As the show entries arrived, I made sure to assign each one a bridle tag, and then put everything into a big envelope thingy with a clasp.  That way, everything stayed together and nothing was misplaced.

I honestly have no clue what these envelopes are called.

Once the closing date arrived, I just gathered up my envelopes and pulled out all the entries forms to make up the schedule.  I sorted everybody out by class, took note of any special requests (a few people requested early ride times), and also took note of which tests they were riding.  Most people rode two tests, so I had to schedule the classes in such a way that they had at least 20-30 minutes between each ride to get ready.

I scheduled 8 minutes for each test. I arrived at that number by looking at the day sheets from show venues I had been to that were well run and didn't get behind schedule.  They all seemed to use around 8 minutes, so that's what I went with!  It was a good call, we ran on time for the entire show.

Once I had the schedule done, I printed out tests for every ride and filled out the entry information for each rider.  I also printed up additional copies for the judge.  Most judges carry their own book of tests with them, but it's always nice to have extras, just in case.  I also printed extra copies of the day sheets for my volunteers.

For volunteers, I had: Two ring stewards (one for the warm-up ring, one for the show ring), one runner, one scribe, two scorers, and a couple floaters to fill in wherever.  I also had volunteers who made food and coffee for the competitors. We were well covered.

On show day, I had everything organized.  And, I had a great group of volunteers to help me get everything squared away!  We were ready by show time, and started off without a hitch!

And then the screw-up came in......  At one point I was left by myself to score, because the scorers got called away for other things.  I stink at math, and I know I stink at math. I made my best effort to calculate it correctly, but I still screwed it up royally.  Thankfully, one of the scorers came back and caught my errors!  So, the crisis was averted and I have learned to make sure I have three scorers for the next show, just in case!

For next time, I'm also going to make sure that I include GMO Membership forms in the show packets.  I had a couple requests for them, and didn't have any copies, so I had to refer people to the website.  I also should have included entry forms for the next show.  So, those will be going in the packets next time.

In summary, I must say that good volunteers make all the difference.  This was my first time doing something like this, and without the volunteers it would have been a disaster!

I'm a little disappointed that nobody noticed the big difference in the picture I put in my last post.  It was a clue to my big news.  I'll try again:

Do you see it now?


  1. A chestnut horse has suddenly appeared in your pasture?? :)

    Being a show secretary sounds like a lot of work! I'd say it was a huge success if your only issue was a minor math mistake!

  2. I see trees, a hot wire, a red horse and poop.
    I'm going to follow the leader and say,you have another horse?

    Sounds like you did a great job. I would never have been able to handle it. I am the least organized person I know....and I'm an office manager! Yikes!

  3. Looks too chestnut to be Spider!

  4. Hey, I'm not the only one with a new chestnut to complement my bay TB!

  5. Who's the new pony? That is exciting news!

    Great post about secretarying a show. It's a lot of work, and the real payoff is when nobody notices all the work you've done because everything goes so well it looks easy!!

  6. Haha! I didn't think it was the chestnut in the background in the previous picture. I thought it was a neighbour's horse whose property line ran alongside yours. So I was staring at your Three Musketeers' butts, trying to figure it out... I was going to say, well Mathilda looks less like a Yak these days.

    Great last 2 posts, by the way. I think there was definitely a silver lining for what happened at your last non-show. It sounds like Spider enjoyed himself immensely.


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