Photo courtesy of KTB Creative Group.
After teaching a couple of my regular clinics this fall, I was reflecting on the process of setting up clinics. In particular, I thought about how I had come to teach in the barns I was visiting—primarily, it was through word-of-mouth. For instance, I had a student who recommended me to their old barn back home, and those people set up a yearly clinic with me that I’ve done for four years now. In another case, I had a friend from Pony Club contact me about doing a clinic at her new barn, and they very kindly organized a busy weekend of lessons for all levels.
From my conversations with other professionals, this is basically how the process works. Word of mouth generates the majority of clinics. Someone who knows the rider starts the conversation and opens the door for an opportunity for others to learn.
This approach is great in many ways, but it’s also very narrow. Reliance on word of mouth and “who you know” limits the options for many riders in barns across the country. Not every rider is going to feel comfortable reaching out to a trainer they don’t know and asking if they’d come teach a clinic for their barn. They may not have the contact details of the trainer, or know what a clinic would cost, or the person’s availability. The word-of-mouth approach also limits the options for good teaching professionals to teach.
I like to think about problems like this and come up with ways to solve them, but I don’t always have the resources or expertise to do so. In this case, I asked some industry professionals at STRIDER, a web platform that is dedicated to connecting equestrians and businesses across the sport, what they thought of an idea to connect clinicians with barns and riders. We brainstormed a little bit, and out of some conversations came a new matchmaking service that STRIDER now offers: StriderMatch!
StriderMatch is an annual subscription service that helps foster connections between Equestrian Professionals and Event Organizers looking to hire or plan an event. On StriderMatch, professionals can list their area of expertise, their pricing, their availability, and their contact information for a yearly fee. Then riders and barn owners can peruse the list of options and contact the professionals that fit their budgetary, scheduling, and training needs. The idea is that StriderMatch breaks down the barrier between riders who want to ride in and/or host quality clinics and clinicians who want to teach them.
Photo courtesy of KTB Creative Group.
With StriderMatch, connecting with the best in the industry is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3.
- Professionals (clinicians, trainers, etc.) post their details, availability, and fee structure.
- Organizers scan the list, reach out and book the Professional for their event, then publish the event on STRIDER’s calendar to collect simple, digital entries.
- Riders find the clinic, masterclass, or workshop on Strider’s calendar and book their ride.
Some clinicians may be skeptical of the idea of paying for a service like this. However, if the minimal fee connects you with barns and results in even just one or two clinics, the service pays for itself in spades. And if those clinics are a success and the barns invite you back, recommend you to other barns for clinics, and help spread the word about your teaching, the upsides are even greater. If you’d like to become a listed StriderMatch professional, click here.
*StriderMatch is a fee-based subscription service. Listings are provided as a courtesy to the STRIDER community to enable connection. Strider doesn’t endorse the professionals or their services listed on this page. Additionally, Strider doesn’t facilitate, interact, nor is contractually obligated in any manner for the creation of any event. Any contract created is between a Professional and an Event Organizer and is solely between those two entities. STRIDER provides contact details for informational purposes only.