Volume 23 * Number Two

An old friend returned today, one that I’ve been missing for quite some time.  Oh, how we used to spend long drives together, studying dressage tests and planning our show season.  Who is this dear old friend?

My paper Omnibus.

I was like a kid at Christmas today, gathering my mail from the post box.  I was excited to find a plain brown envelope from the USEA, sufficiently thick and heavy.  I tore open the wrapping, and my eyes beheld a bright, shiny, crisp booklet of treasures.  THE SUMMER OMNIBUS!  In print!  In my hot little hands to have, hold, and cherish!  I’m in love again!

I know, the information has been online this whole time.  But it’s just not the same.  Something about the disorganized chaos of events strung together in an endless scrolling hyperlink list just made life more complicated.  And I’m a rather tech-savvy individual; surely I could navigate the USEA site with relative ease?  And yet, I can’t.  I know, the whole thing is online and I can print it out, or copy/paste it into an Excel document.  But it’s just not THE SAME as having that nifty book with the Bit Of Britain, Nutrena, and CoverAll ads, and never enough forms in the back.  What am I to do when I’m on the road, out xc schooling, or otherwise separated from an internet-linked computer?  (I do have a phone with limited internet capabilities– but the USEA site is, um, waaaay beyond its comprehension.  And then there’s that whole texting-while-driving thing, no thanks.) 

So, this year, despite all the penny-pinching, I bit the bullet.  I forked over the cash (I think it was a whopping $12) and ordered the REAL Omnibus.  And now that it’s here, I would have paid twice that!  Why was I so slow on the uptake?  Why didn’t I order it sooner?  There is peace in my competition schedule world again, simply from flipping the hard-copy pages of a 300-page black-and-white book. 

It is such a relief to have it again, riding shotgun on the dash of my truck, just an arms-length away when I need it most (driving home after a good/bad event and needing to make last-minute competition adjustments).  Once again I have access to precious information, like secretaries’ phone numbers and email, future events listed by date/level, and Area Officials and Coordinators contact listings (um, how often does anybody really need that?).  The pages will soon be crinkled and dog-eared, the cover eventually ripped off, and notes written all over the margins.  It will be my Velveteen Rabbit.  (Only I don’t plan to infect it with scarlet fever and burn it.) 

I know I’m not the only one who has struggled to enter events without my omnipresent compass.  Don’t get me wrong– I LOVE evententries.com, and it is a godsend– but there’s something about having the information in real life, in actual physical Einstein-ian organic matter, that cyberspace just can’t replace.  I urge you to save some electrons…cut down some trees and buy yourself some happiness: a paper Omnibus.  (You can recycle it later.)

I’m blissfully happy right now.  And you know what’s even better?  I pre-ordered the Fall one, too.  Santa comes twice this year!   

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