Over the weekend, I had the great pleasure of working at the Southern Equine Expo, running the Lecture Series in the Miller Club. If you missed it, make plans early to get there next year. The Lecture Series included five sessions with “Trail Meister” Robert Eversole. Not only is he an engaging speaker but he is a true pleasure to chat with. Attendees agreed, because his crowds got bigger and bigger. He was so wonderful that the Southern Equine Expo staff has already invited him back for next year.
As a former Toastmaster, there are several things I look for from a presentation perspective, but as a horsewoman, there are a few key quality questions I ask when evaluating a lecture:
- Does the speaker actively participate in the discipline?
- Is the speaker genuinely interested in providing the audience with good, relevant knowledge?
- Is the speaker willing to say, “I don’t know”?
- Does the speaker promote other horse professionals/encourage the audience to seek out other experts?
- Is the speaker willing to express an opinion even if it’s unpopular?
The answer to all of these for Robert was YES. He is an experienced back country trail rider, who is generous with his knowledge and his praise of other good horsemen and horsewomen. He sought to provide his audience with knowledge relevant to their interests and experience and even boldly proclaims that he wears a helmet. As a helmet advocate, I love this!
Let me start by saying I avoid trail riding like the plague. I do it only for the benefits of (a) testing my horse outside the arena and (b) giving my horse a break from the arena. More often then not, I bribe other people to trail ride my horses. Despite that, I learned a few great tips along the way. Talking to attendees who trail ride, they took away much, much more.
His five talks included the following:
- The ABCs of Trail Riding
- GPS for Trail Riders
- Horse Camping 101
- Emergency Preparedness for Trail Riders
- Open Q&A about Trail Riding
If you trail ride, you should check out his website. Not only does it have great resources for finding trails, camps, and maps, but it also has useful information like how to tie a knot and reviews of products you may be thinking about trying.
As I mentioned before, if you’re in the south and didn’t attend the Southern Equine Expo this year, plan to be there next year (last weekend in February)! You do NOT want to miss out on seeing Robert Eversole a second time!