Wednesday, October 29, 2014

4 Reasons Why Every Rider Should Volunteer

Another blog post by MLE intern Emily Goldstein!

Emily's view for the day ...
This past weekend I volunteered as a cross-country jump judge for the Novice and Training Three Day at Waredaca. It was a beautiful day and I had a great spot to judge from. My jump (number 15) overlooked the pond and also allowed me to see a few other jumps around the course. I think I was just as excited to watch as the riders were to compete.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived for the jump judge briefing was that the group of jump judges ranged from adult amateurs to professional, upper-level riders. It was great to see all types of riders giving their time to help the event run smoothly. Besides jump-judging, there are many jobs volunteers can perform such as scribes, ring stewards, runners, ring crew, and timers. All riders should find some time to volunteer and here’s why:

1.     We should all do our part in giving back. If you compete and plan to continue to compete, you should return the favor and support the resources that you benefit from. Under-staffed events stretch volunteers very thin making them less-likely to want to volunteer in the future.

2.     You can learn a lot by volunteering. Volunteering at horse shows or events can provide less experienced riders with a sense of what happens at shows and what the atmosphere is like. This can be helpful if you have never shown before or have little experience with the environment.

3.     Volunteering brings people together. Because there is such a diverse crowd of people who volunteer, it is also a good way to meet friends, make connections, and build a sense of community.

4.     This should never be the main reason for volunteering, but often, volunteering has its perks. Sometimes you will be given compensation like a schooling pass, jacket, or shirt. Waredaca offered hats, shirts, jackets and lunch to their volunteers at their three-day event last week.

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