The Ten Stages of Ride Organising
Our Ride Organisers are our unsung heroes. Where would we be without them? Here’s a light-hearted insight into the emotional highs and lows of ride organising.
The ten stages of ride organising
1) Naive excitement. You have an embryonic route which you think people will enjoy. Alternatively, an existing ride organiser has managed to persuade you to take on their ride (alcohol is normally involved in this ‘delegation’ process). This is the fun bit - checking the route out, working out if it is a ‘go-er’, imagining how much people will enjoy riding the tracks.
2) The serious stage. Doing the sums, sending off the forms
3) Nervous excitement. Seeing your ride in the schedule for the first time
4) Worry. You realise just how much there is left to do and how quickly the ride is approaching. But at the moment it’s a low, grumbling worry.
5) Increasing worry. Entries open. That low grumbling worry becomes louder. Are people actually going to enter? Are people actually going to help? Help, I need a zillion helpers and a vet and reserve vet and a back up reserve vet.
6) The eye of the storm. This hits at about T-10. The route is sorted. You have enough entries. The volunteers are stepping up to the plate. It’s really going rather well. You think ‘we can do this’. Do not be deceived because the next step is....
7) The terrified stage. Panic! Sleepless nights, trying to sort out withdrawals/cancellations/ replacement helpers/vets/unexpected tractor rallies/etc. What if someone falls off or gets seriously hurt? What if one of the horses gets into trouble? What the heck am I doing?
8) Ride day. ‘Ride organiser glaze’ will set in – that blank stare when you aren’t quite sure where you are or what you’re doing. NB : If you spot a ride organiser with ‘ride organiser glaze’, then quickly ask them what you can do to help, as the plot is being rapidly lost. Depending on how well you know them you then either need to back away slowly, give them a hug or try to make them laugh.
9) Exhaustion. Yes, the signs are still in the car. Yes, the paperwork is still to be tidied up. You don’t care. Right at this moment you are at home, utterly shell-shocked, with a takeaway and a bottle or five of your tipple of choice. And you never, ever want to do this again.
10) The memory wipe. It’s like steps 2-9 didn’t happen. Hopefully there are lovely comments and photos all over the internet, the feedback is good, and you start to think about route improvements for next year. Which takes you back to 1) again.....