|only one of these is paid to be there|
It's no secret that most horse organizations are run through 95% volunteer labor. Some organizations require that participants put in some hours to make things work together--others rely on sheer goodwill of the community.
What do you do about this? Do you volunteer at shows? Work behind the scenes with leadership? Pay your dues and rides a bunch of horses at shows to make them worth putting on?
When I moved back to NJ in 2013, I was volunteering at a horse rescue not far from my house. I stopped volunteering there after a while, for a variety of reasons (none of which I'll publicly disclose), and instead I've been volunteering A LOT at the Horse Park of NJ. The HPNJ hosts tons of shows, from rated and unrated h/j to dressage to barrel racing, and my favorite: Jersey Fresh 3-Day Event. I don't usually volunteer at the dressage shows, but Jersey Fresh is my favorite weekend of the year! I also really enjoy working the barrel races for some reason (maybe bc I think barrel racers are insane?) but anytime I can be around horses and horse shows, I'm usually there.ReplyDelete
I love volunteering. At first it was a way to get back into the swing of horse showing, and learn the specifics of showing straight dressage. But, I ended up hooked and I met wonderful friends, trainers, and friendly competition through the experience! Hopefully I can find the time to do more in the DC area...ReplyDelete
i haven't had many opportunities to volunteer (just jump judged xc a couple times, and was gate steward like, once, for dressage haha) but would love to do more. as someone getting into a new sport, it's been really helpful to just absorb the atmosphere and see how things are run without the pressure of trying to compete myself. i'd love to try scribing for dressage tests tho - seems like there's an awful lot to learn just by watching through the eyes of the judgeReplyDelete
I don't like volunteering if I am also showing (cannot brain) but I LOVE volunteering otherwise. Of course I'm one of those awful people who really only wants to XC jump judge or scribe for dressage. But I've already volunteered at a couple shows this year and already have more planned. I pity the fool who hands me a walkie talkie.ReplyDelete
I did a lot more pre-school than I'm able to now, but am super excited to go volunteer at The Fork CIC 3* event in April. Cool opportunity to learn and be in a high level competitive environment!ReplyDelete
I've scribed for unrecognized shows (love), run warmup for stadium at recognized shows, and was a starter for XC at recognized. I love the scribing because I learned so much. The warmup was fun and I would do it again, but the starter was stressful and you couldn't see much.ReplyDelete
I love volunteering at events! If I'm not riding in one, I always try to jump judge, it's super educational!ReplyDelete
I have actually driven over 600km (370 miles) round trip and paid for a hotel for the weekend just to volunteer as a dressage scribe, and I've done that multiple times.ReplyDelete
There's not too many dressage shows or dressage riders in my area, and since you can't ride and scribe in the same show, they're always looking for scribes. I tend to scribe for the biggest shows with the biggest judges (spent a whole weekend last year with Brenda Minor, FEI 4* judge, it was awesome!) and then I compete in the smaller shows myself. I love volunteering as scribe, I feel I'm helping the show out, I know my job, and I learn so so much.
At one local unrecognized show last year I both rode and volunteered, the show organizer handed me a stack of dressage tests to score and I realized that my own test was one of them! I had to quickly point that out to her and ask for a different job lol
I haven't volunteered at a horse show, but I'd love to if I were more involved in that community. More reasons I want to be an eventer! I've volunteered at quite a few therapeutic riding programs and loved it, including going to Special Olympics last fall.ReplyDelete
I volunteer at our local unrated shows whenever I can. I'm still not comfortable enough at a rated show to fit in riding AND volunteering, but hopefully some day soon!ReplyDelete
I'm on the board of my local GMO, which means I do a LOT of volunteering. I run the club's Facebook and maintain/update the website. I'm the show secretary for all the schooling shows (which means I process all the entries and collaborate with another member on scheduling ride times) and I've recently volunteered to tackle the competitors' parties at the club's rated show this summer. At schooling shows I'm usually either scribing or running the warm up ring.ReplyDelete
I really enjoy volunteering with the group- it's helped me make new friends and meet new people. It can be kind of a time suck, but I figure if I want the shows to continue to be available, I should probably contribute!
I volunteered a couple times with the driving club. It was fun. I met a lot of people I may have competed with but didn't really even know and was able to say 'Hi!' and welcome new members in the club.ReplyDelete
Although I never got to scribe for dressage, I did know a couple of the judges and got to hang out with them pretty regularly and pick their brains. It also give you an appreciation for all that goes into putting on the shows.
Our club and members always treated the volunteers well. At least I think they did. Its what helps keep the club going and all of the events happening.
I actually volunteered at an Endurance event with a friend of my- super interesting to learn about and entirely different discipline:http://www.wilburisagem.com/2014/06/cooley-ranch-endurance-ride.htmlReplyDelete
I would also volunteer at my previous barn when they held Schooling or IEA shows. I enjoy it!
I volunteer for our local club, and a therapeutic riding organization. Our membership fees here are super low because it's all volunteer run so it only seems fair to donate some time!ReplyDelete
I'm the Show Secretary/Manager for my local USDF GMO, so I do a ton of volunteering! It makes the whole "show scene" a lot less scary when you've helped run one. Even before I was running shows, I volunteered to scribe every chance I got. Scribing is a great way to learn the ins and outs of what the judges are looking for.ReplyDelete
I always like to volunteer at shows before I attend. The last one I volunteered at wasn't a great experience. They forgot I was coming... so I woke up at 6am on a Saturday and had no job (and was mostly in the way). I will keep volunteering because it's so important to keep local events running. But I might whine about it sometimes.ReplyDelete