If you have been around horses and horse shows for any amount of time, you know that barns and shows could not make it without people stepping up and volunteering. Owners volunteer when barns are short-staffed or when there is a horse emergency – a show of hands of people who have walked friends’ horses who were colicking or waited with a friend for the vet to arrive. Dressage shows would not be possible if it weren’t for the small army of volunteers who tirelessly plan the shows, set up the equipment, schedule the rides, control the chaos of warm up, run the calculators for scores, clean up and tear down the show grounds once all the riders and horses go home, and the countless other tasks that I didn’t mention.
I tried my hand as volunteer coordinator for my local chapter for 4 years. I was brand new in the dressage world and naively said, “sure, I will be the coordinator.” Craziness. Much like herding cats. I have had the chance to try every volunteer job myself at one point or another. Don’t like scoring since you are usually tucked away in a small room with no view. I’ve stood in the cold rain on top of a hill in Lexington, Virginia waiting for riders who never showed up – drove home barefoot to warm my ice cold feet with the car heater. I’ve stuffed competitor gift bags for days and stacked prizes in my guest room. At one championship show, I had the opportunity to tell a well-known rider/breeder to leave the warmup ring since she was not competing that day – Ha Ha! Power to the little people! I spent yesterday afternoon setting up the ring for the schooling show today (how glad am I that the old chain rings are no longer used at the recognized shows). We do these thing for the love of the sport and for the love of horses.
No riding today – spent the day with my husband and my parents having a belated Father’s Day celebration. Ike and I did manage a short ride yesterday morning before the humidity got the best of us. You know it is humid when you turn your helmet over to put it on your head and leftover sweat/condensation drips out. Yuck! He was full of himself and most of the ride was spent half halting and half halting and half halting and well, you get the picture. Ike hit all his trot to canter transitions; he just didn’t want to down transition. It is days like this that a wide open, well groomed trail would be nice to blow off some of that young horse steam so I might actually have a chance at my aids getting attention. We ride again tomorrow.
p.s. I want a Dressage is #1 foam finger!!