Why Volunteer at Horse Shows?
I’m pretty new to the world of horse show volunteerism. My first volunteer shift was in the Spring of 2018 but I loved it and can’t seem to get enough! I feel so strongly that there are great reasons for equestrians to volunteer at their local shows so I have gathered a few of my top reasons here for your consideration.
Learning New Skills
One great reason that I volunteer for horse shows is to learn new skills. I first began volunteering for shows in the Spring of 2018 and didn’t know what to expect from the experience – I just wanted to be involved. Since that time, I’ve been assigned to a variety of volunteer positions each of which requires a specific skill set. For example, at the Young Horse Show I was assigned as a volunteer scribe for the first time. Being a scribe requires accuracy, speed, and listening skills (neat handwriting helps too!) as you listen closely to the judge and document their comments in writing. Whereas a week before I had no experience as a scribe I walked away from that show with a new experience under my belt and the confidence to pursue more scribe opportunities.
Another example was volunteering as backup timer for a driving marathon competition. This was not only my first time volunteering in this role but my first time even watching a driving marathon! Again, I came away with the experience and confidence of performing a task as critical as backup timing the competitor’s run.
Each new show brings opportunities to learn and grow your experience. I encourage you to volunteer for a variety of disciplines and a variety of volunteer positions to find out what suits your personality and skill set. Once you’ve found a task that you love you can work your way up to the big shows and really get in on the action!
Making New Friends
Another reason to volunteer is that horse shows are a fantastic opportunity to join with other horse-lovers and celebrate the sport. I have met new friends from all over the US and the globe through volunteering and keep in touch with their equine adventures through social media etc. It is especially fun when you get to pick up each friendship where you left off at the next show.
Building a Network
In the same vein as making new friends, volunteering at shows gives you a chance to network with the show organizers, judges, and competitors in the sport. Just this morning, volunteering at a reining event, I was able to interact with an administrator for the equestrian venue where the event was held, one of the FEI level judges, and others in the community. If you are interested in getting plugged in to the equestrian community, then you’ll want an intricate network set up. Volunteering is a great way to make those connections!
I hope you will consider jumping in and lending a hand at the next event in your area. It’s a super fun way to stay involved and you can rest assured that you are needed and greatly appreciated!
Header image credit: Markus Spiske (via Pixabay.com)