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Australian Teacher Group - EQUITANA Melbourne 2018

Updated: Jan 31, 2019

School of Lightness at the EQUITANA Melbourne 2018 - Equitana, sounds like an idea!

Report from the Australian Teacher Group:

During our rider’s meeting at the August 2017 Australian East Coast teacher training Susie Walker suggested we consider participating in Equitana in Melbourne in 2018. The group as a whole agreed as did our Master Teacher Sylvia Stoessel. So the project began!

After finding out a bit more about the possibilities (costs, timing etc) we agreed in November 2017 that it was a “definite maybe” and a sub-committee comprising Leanne Williams, Jason McInnes and Christine Mogensen was formed with a kick-off meeting in February 2018.

We started by defining some objectives and thinking about whether we should have a booth, do some education sessions or even be brave enough to present our teachers and riders to the public.

By the time of our second meeting in mid-February 2018 Sylvia had helped us to decide that we should aim to represent the School of Lightness at a booth and also if possible have one of our licensed teachers present a classroom education session. Now we had a lot more work to do!

We needed to consider how we wanted to present ourselves. Then find out about funding, uniforms, signage, promotional materials, apply for a booth, apply to do an education session…..the list was very long and we needed a project plan!

The “Wall of Beauty”

One of our objectives was to present some very positive and beautiful images of horses being worked in the School of Lightness way. A whole wall of our booth would be dedicated to showing these images.

This involved us sourcing high quality images of Philippe Karl, our Master teachers Sylvia Stoessel and Melanie Bulmahn as well as pictures of the licensed and trainee teachers from Australia.

The images were very useful when we were talking to people visiting over the 4 days of Equitana.

Thanks so much to all of the people who agreed to be part of our “Wall of Beauty”.

What about a calendar?

For some time Jason McInnes had been raising the idea that we make a calendar for the group. This would promote the school as a whole, promote the individual Australian teachers and trainees and ensure that spectators had a ready reference at hand if they wanted to know upcoming clinic dates. Equitana presented a perfect opportunity to realize this ambition. Calendar—not as easy as we think! While producing a calendar seemed like a great idea, without a big budget we needed to do a lot of the work ourselves.

Leanne Williams and Jason McInnes spent many nights, after working with the horses all day, grappling with publishing a calendar that had beautiful, high resolution images, with all the right dates and everybody’s correct contact details.

With some lovely quotations and spectacular photos the resulting calendar is brilliant but production delays did see it arrive at Equitana a day late!

And a Flyer?

It was decided that an A5 flyer explaining a little bit about the School of Lightness while also providing a list of all of the Australian licensed and trainee teacher would be an ideal handout at the booth. Again Jason and Leanne used new skills to produce this lovely result.

Free Book Draw

Each day during Equitana we held a “Free Book Draw”. By providing their name, email address and phone number visitors to the booth were entered in the draw to win an autographed copy of the “Art of Riding” or “The Twisted Truths”. Philippe Karl’s wonderful drawings made the autographed copies very special. More than 200 people entered.

APPEL helps a lot

APPEL were instrumental in allowing us to promote the School of Lightness at Equitana Melbourne in 2018. After completing an application for funding APPEL provided us with the money to pay the cost of the booth.

In addition they sent us some ready made promotional materials such as “roll-up” banners and APPEL flyers. We were also given some giveaway items such as book marks and stickers.

In addition we purchased some caps, patches and pins. Susie Walker used some of the patches to create a nice uniform for us to wear.

Book & DVD Sales

We took the opportunity to promote the School of Lightness by having the full range of Philippe Karl’s titles available for sale at our booth. The main equestrian wholesaler in Melbourne (DLS Books) helped us with this and we were able to sell lots of items. Especially popular was the latest DVD High Noon Part 3. We also sold lots of copies of the “Perth” DVDs.

The Booth is a great Success

Our booth at Equitana was a great success, we had many visitors and lots of interest from people from other parts of Australia and even New Zealand.

Lots of people dropped in to take advantage of the free mini hand and seat lesson, to have a chat or to buy books and DVDs.

With thanks to Alex Johnstone, Christine Mogensen, Erica Hosking, Jason McInnes, Laura Sergivich, Leanne Williams, Mandy Maiden , Nadine O’Sullivan and Susie Walker who all helped to “Man The Stand”.

Yay! Its all finished

With Equitana over we are happy to have completed this big task. We learnt a lot and have built up some expertise as well as collected some great display items which can be re-used in the future.

We are planning to keep in touch with the database of interested people, ensuring they know when our clinics are.

Some people are already talking about next Equitana!

To read more about the event click here.

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