The greatest fear people identify is the fear of public speaking. It probably has to do with the fear of failure, the fear of looking or sounding stupid, the fear of being boring, or the fear of other people’s judgement.
I had a chance to stare fear in the face on Saturday. I offered a clinic teaching horse people how to evaluate their own saddle fit. I’ve taught classes before but I’ve always felt panic … dry mouth, sweaty armpits, gut clenched. And I’ve always had to have the entire talk scripted because I would experience a loss of words. Sometimes I’d stutter over just saying my own name and where I was from.
But not this time. This Saturday I only had an outline of what I wanted to cover, I knew what I wanted people to learn. I didn’t sweat, I did have butterflies in my stomach but no dry mouth. I had everything organized a head of time. No technology was used, so there was nothing to worry about “malfunctioning.” The week before the event I went through a Chakra balancing exercise and the day of the event I used the Balance Blend Essential Oil.
Eight people came to the class and it was a perfectly sized group for having hands-on time to practice the concepts I taught. I wished more people would have been interested in coming to learn about evaluating their own saddle fit but I had great testimonials from those who did attend.
I did a type of pre-test by having the participants measure a saddle before the training and then a post-test by having them measure a saddle after the training. Average saddles measure between 5.5″ to 8″ in the gullet area and that 2 1/2 inches represents the difference between a narrow horse to an extra wide horse. Before the training the participants were across the board spanning 3 1/2 inches of different gullet measurements on the same saddle. But after 5 minutes of training they were within 3/4 of an inch of each other. That is amazing. Most were beginners or first timers in learning about saddle fit. I was so proud of them.
Some comments were: “I knew generally where to measure but not precisely where. I found out that I was a bit off.” “I have not used any of these techniques in the past and can see how important they are in getting a proper, comfortable fit.” “I really learned basically everything I need to know on how to benefit my horse.” “Covered everything I have already heard but with more detail.” “Great info for buying a new saddle.”
What a successful day for everyone. In the past, I have allowed fear and panic to overwhelm me to the point where I wouldn’t even offer this type of public event. I would only work with people one on one. But offering group talks is less expensive for participants and allows me to reach more people. So I’ve been working on overcoming fear and panic. I believe I have something to offer that can benefit other people and their horses, so why shouldn’t I take the leap and share it. And I learned something this weekend … I learned I could do this with no panic.