December 18, 2017

Happiness Is…

Happiness is…

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.” – William Butler Yeats    

           How will you grow? A few weeks ago I choose to do some growing by attending the Horse Expo in Pomona. There were going to be several speakers that sounded good. I also usually spend a day or so working in the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) booth. And, of course, I shop! Now, I’m not one to collect lots of things, but I always have a craving for knowledge!

            This is the first time the Horse Expo has been held at the LA Fairgrounds. For as long as I can remember, Equine Affaire had the “honored” Super Bowl weekend spot. This year, they gave it up and Horse Expo stepped in to take their place. I wasn’t sure if the change would be good or bad, so I decided to check it out for myself and see.

            The first change was downgrading from 4 days to only 3- Thursday, Friday & Saturday. I guess they decided not to try competing with the Super Bowl. It did make the event a much smaller one. I don’t know if the booth prices reflected that change or not, but I hope so. The daily ticket prices were comparable and parking was the same as previous years. The next change I noticed was being greeted at the entrance by riders on horseback. Every day a different group took the greeters role. The first day it was the Project Cowboy cowboy’s. Their friendly “Howdy ya’ll,”  filled the air as their horses stomped hooves and chomped bits in the early morning sunshine. The only downside was that they seemed to have forgotten to have a clean-up crew on hand. While it’s true that most horse people don’t mind a little fertilizer lying around, but it did put a damper on the effect I believe they were going for. Especially since you had to walk directly through the horses to get into the Expo. I wasn’t wearing my barn boots that day, so I was not prepared to “tiptoe through the tulips”, as it were. A situation I’m sure I shared with many others in attendance.

            The plan for that Thursday was for me to work in the CHA booth and team-teach a lecture with CHA CEO Christy Landwehr.  While I stayed at the booth, Christy went to the lecture venue to set up our PowerPoint presentation. Upon arrival there, she discovered that nothing was available for the PowerPoint. No computer, screen or projector. Only a microphone. Another downside to the venue is that it was outside, making it nearly impossible to see pictures on a screen in the bright sunlight.  Christy quickly scrambled to make other arrangements and moved the lecture to a private booth sponsored by Farnam. We waited at the official venue until most of the spectators gathered and then we marched them all to our alternate location. The lecture then went off without a hitch, but the Horse Expo powers-that-be were none to pleased. They promised the problem would be fixed before Christy’s lecture on Friday.  The rest of the day went well with lots of good visitors to the CHA booth. I worked with my Co-Regional Director, Lori Hall-McNary. We spent the day chatting with those who came by, imparting information about Riding Instructor Certification and all the other programs CHA offers.

            Friday dawned clear, sunny and warm. This day we were greeted by the Cowgirl Drill Team all decked out in their flashy red, white and blue sequined outfits. We were also greeted with the same manure problem as well. Alas, some things take time… I spent this day watching some speakers and checking out the vendors. I always try to find someone who is standing in a booth sponsored by some big feed or veterinary company. They are usually bored because they aren’t selling a product at the expo. What they are GIVING AWAY is great information. Be sure to take the time to wander up to their booth and ask them what’s new in their industry. You are sure to come away with first-rate updates on all the latest trends. This is an oft overlooked opportunity for personal and professional growth, so be sure to take advantage of them.   

            This is also when I will scope out the items I want to purchase. If you ask, you can often get a good deal and maybe some freebees thrown in for good measure. As with most of the shoppers, I will wait until the last day to make my purchases because that is when items will be at their cheapest. Many vendors don’t want to ship stock back home therefore it will be deeply discounted, often as much as half price. Of course you always risk the items being sold out if you use this method, but it’s a risk I’m usually willing to take.

            When the time for Christy’s next talk came around, I met her back at the booth to help run the PowerPoint Presentation. However, when we got to the venue we encountered most of the same problems. We did have a screen, but it was in the sun. We didn’t have a table for the projector, but we set it up on a bench. I ran the slideshow, but to no avail. It simply wasn’t visible in the bright sunlight. It turned out to be a positive turn of events however because it drove people back to the CHA booth to request a free copy of the PowerPoint Presentation to be emailed to them. This gave us the opportunity to chat with these fine folks. They were looking for some growth as well, and we gave them many opportunities. CHA is all about educating horse people and helping them grow as owners, instructors and facility managers.

            Saturday was much the same but I finally did my shopping! I didn’t buy much, but I did get some really good deals on the things I did buy. Overall I’d say Horse Expo was a great experience. I met some wonderful people, learned many, many new things and had fun. I was able to grow both my relationships and education. If that isn’t happiness, I don’t know what is.

Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. She is also a registered AQHA Professional Horseman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 30 years. Currently she and her husband own and operate CRK Training Stable in Yorba Linda, CA. We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, but rights to publish this article are restricted.

About William Butler Yeats-Irish author William Butler Yeats, known for his mysticism and Celtic imagery, won a Nobel Prize for his plays but ultimately achieved more renown as a poet. He was born in Dublin in 1865. Co-founder of the Abbey Theater, he served as its resident playwright and worked with actress Maude Gonne, who inspired the romantic longing expressed in many poems. He married at age 52 and co-wrote A Vision with his wife, a book with occult roots that explores the mythology in his poetry. He died in 1939.


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