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Convention Cliques

>My wife and myself went to our first AERC convention recently in Reno. 
We went with great anticipation of meeting a lot of new people and
getting exited about the up and coming season in >which my wife was
looking to riding 
>a few

Dear "Friendly LD's from the Southeast".  Have you ever been to a ride? 
I have been to two conventions and don't think they're exactly conducive
to meeting new people.  I've been to family reunions that were no better.
 Unless there is someone out there who is being the Hospitality Chairman,
how is anyone supposed to meet?  I had ONE  person at the Kentucky
convention who saw me sign my name on her mailing list and said, "Oh,
YOU'RE Angie McGhee?"  (made me wonder if a check had bounced), other
than that, I wandered around with the two people I came with.  I did meet
a few people, but just like at a family reunion, you've got to have
SOMETHING to say.  "Hi, I'm Wayne's daughter, you know, Annie's boy..." 
they've got to be able to establish a connection then you go from there. 

Also, remember, lots of us see each other at rides, but unless our horses
happen to pace together, we don't get much time to visit.  We're like war
buddies.  We have a bond; it's "Remember at the Big South Fork Ride when
it rained 2 inches?"  It is going to take awhile to work your way in.  If
there's instant closeness, it's fake.

If you come out to a ride and expect everyone to come running out to meet
you introducing themselves, good luck...they're busy, but you'll make one
friend at THIS ride when you pace together, and one friend at the next
when you loan them an easyboot on the trail, and before you know it,
people point you out and say, "They're nice people", and you're one of
the crowd.  You don't have to be great, or a winner, just "nice people". 

Reminds me of the preacher who talked to two new parishioners.  The first
asked him what sort of people he had in his church.  The preacher said,
"What sort of people were in you OLD church?"  The man said, "They were
all hypocrites, backbiters and gossips."  The preacher said, "You'll find
they're the same here".  The next man asked the preacher the same
question.  When the preacher asked him what sort of people had been at
his old church he said, "They were wonderful supportive people.  They
helped us in so many ways and we loved them and they loved us."  The
preacher said, "You'll find it's exactly the same here."

I think the Southeast rides are the friendliest places in the world...but
you may end up thinking we're pretty cliquey too.


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