Friday, December 28, 2018

Ask all the questions!

If we want our hobby to grow and thrive, it's important not just to nurture our youngsters, but to take care of our new adult hobbyists as well. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is to answer any and all questions that come our way, and to do so without derision or sarcasm. Thank you, Erin Corbett for this timely reminder!

No Stupid Questions

by Erin Corbett

“There’s no such thing as a stupid question.”

How often have you heard this statement? If you’re like me, you've heard it a lot. 
Unfortunately, most of us don't really believe it. 
It can be intimidating to ask questions for a number of reasons, but creating an environment where questions are welcomed and encouraged is absolutely critical to fostering goodwill with the next generation of model horse showers and collectors! Not to mention, it can save a show holder a lot of time.
As I gear up for BreyerWest 2019, I encourage folks to ask questions in whatever public format they prefer, either in the Facebook group or on the BreyerWest forum on the Breyer site. Why? Well, the simple answer is that in my experience, several other people will benefit from the information. It's far more efficient for me to clarify a classlist question in public, than to answer it seven times via email or private message.
But beyond the simple time saving measures, why are questions so important? 
Put simply, one should never ever stop learning. Model horse showing is weird and hard and intimidating, especially when you’re new to it. When a new person’s questions are met with even light tones of ridicule, that can be all it takes to put them off showing entirely. I too have been guilty of asking people to read the packet before I answer a question. However, when I get a lot of the same question, I’ve learned that my materials aren’t as clear as I thought they were and I need to do some work!
So please, people at all levels of the hobby, ask those questions and ask them out in the open. Thank you to the folks who already do this – you are leading by example! 
Erin, leading by example at BreyerWest 2016
I will be judging the Open Performance at Kylee Parks' SuperCaliFragilistic Live in Los Olivos, California in January and Youth/Novice Performance at BreyerWest in Albany, Oregon in March. If you are attending either of these shows, please feel free to ask me any and all questions. I can't promise I'll know all the answers, but I'll do my best, and I won't make fun of you for asking!

3 comments:

  1. One thing that really ticks me off is when I ask a question about showing (breed suggestion, performance related) and someone answers "Look it up." If I knew what to look for, I wouldn't be asking! Or maybe I *did* look it up, but wanted to clarify a point, or wasn't sure I understood correctly. Or maybe I'm asking a broad question ("What color halter does a draft horse wear?") because I don't know how to narrow it down to do a search.

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  2. I agree. "Look it up" is not very helpful. We need to do better than that.

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  3. This is so true. It's frustrating how good at gatekeeping this hobby can be. I really, really wish more people had this point of view.

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