- Printing handouts with general local ride information.
- Posting these handouts where horse feed is sold, and handing out to people who ask about distance riding.
- Sending the handouts to local saddle club, breed, and trail ride organizations.
- Including a contact # where I can be reached and including the AERC website link.
So how could new riders in the sport be made to feel more welcome?
- If they have just joined your club and paid their dues email them a welcome letter.
- If you receive email from a new member take a moment to answer that email!
- Make sure that new riders know how to find the rides in their area.
- Help new riders to find the downloads for entry forms if they are not easily web accessible. Can they download it off the AERC website? If not, who do they contact?
- Offer to ride with a newbie, especially over the course where a competition may take place.
- Be available to answer questions, lead, and guide without judgement, and maintain positiveness.
- Offer to share a trailer ride to someone new to the sport.
- If you see a new rider looking "lost" at a ride, introduce them around, and ask if they need assistance. They probably don't know what is next and just need pointed in the right direction.
- Take the time to pull up a chair and ask about the new person's goals. Ask if they are having problems and offer solutions.
- If you ride turtle offer to ride them through that first ride. If you are a mid-pack or faster rider, explain that you shouldn't ride with them, and why.
- Introduce new riders at the awards ceremony and make them feel welcome with a big group hello!
- Sound like hand-holding? Yes, a little, but worth it to go just a little further and make a person new to the sport think WOW! These endurance people are SO NICE! Nicer still that they enjoy their initial positive experience and return ride, after ride, after ride.