This weekend is the Utah Horse Expo. I'm excited. I'm scared.
I'm scared because I'm going to be there representing myself as the Editor of The Utah Trotter. Once people put my face to this thing, there's kind of no going back. And I don't want to wuss out like I did two years ago. (So much wussing out. I talked to one guy shaping hats before crawling into a dark hole of fear and shame. I can laugh about it now. Or...a week from now, maybe.)
I've been trying to read lots of motivational quotes about how good ideas look crazy at first, and how to overcome fear, and how you should do what you love and BLAH BLAH BLAH.
So this weekend I'll be at the Expo as a lone representative of my crazy idea that someone ought to be telling the stories of the horse industry- the struggles, the conflicts, the heroes. We ought to start getting to know each other and finding each other's experiences relevant. We ought to be resources and mentors for each other more than we are competitors. We ought to collectively care about the welfare of the industry, the sport, and the animals themselves more than our own isolated experience within it.
With all the differences between people to be mad about in this world, don't you think it's crazy that people who do Show Jumping in Park City think they have nothing in common with people who Barrel Race in Tooele? I do.
So this weekend, I'm going to walk around the Mecca of Utah's Horse Industry and talk to people. I'm going to ask questions and take pictures and not totally wuss out. I'm going to wear my website shirt and hand out business cards. I'm going to try and make sure that enough people know who I am at the end of the day that I will feel too guilty to ever give up.
I covered a story last month about some people who ran out of money, got caught up in a lawsuit, and let their whole herd of horses starve this winter. I had to take pictures of one of their emaciated colts seized by the sheriff's office, who was still alive, fighting, even friendly in spite of all the odds. In my heart, I accidentally named him Jiminy Cricket. He was my conscience.
We should never, ever, get so caught up in our own experience in this industry that Jiminy Cricket ever stops mattering to any of us. I want to help people do better by Jiminy, and this is my way. Connectivity, support, education.
I've decided I'm totally willing to make a fool of myself in order to even try fulfilling that mission. In fact, making a fool of myself should really not be such a stretch. I am 27 years old, and I blog about corn dogs, The Bachelor, and Breyer Horses. You might say I was born to shamelessly insert myself into bizarre situations. I was born to do this. Yeah. I like the sound of that.