|Who has adorable ponies! Go meet them!!!!|
Because I suspect that for many, when they think of volunteering, they think of a day of slogging work when they could be taking a lesson or going to a show. The reality, however, is quite the opposite.
She asks, "What was your most memorable volunteering moment & event?"
As I paused to think, I realized it was a harder question that I first assumed. Of course, I can't just say one thing, I must keep up my reputation as a
Then, my dears, I would love to hear yours (in the comments or on your own blogs -- link in the comments so I don't miss any!!).
|Officially volunteer stuffs|
Not only did he answer, but he explained the question the movement asked of horse and rider & why the noted evasions occurred. I wrote it down somewhere, because it was a dressage lesson in itself, & I know I applied several gems as soon as I got home -- with results!
|Meet cool people: Wendy, designer/owner, Kan-Tec|
It really opened my eyes: you would not believe the unbelievable amount of time, money, & effort people put into becoming a licensed judge. While there are still a few not-so-great ones who slip through the program, it is HARD, & I certainly think twice if I am tempted to grumble about a judge (although I am really not that person; rarely has there been a comment that I don't 100% agree with).
|I judge Karen O'Connor at The Fork; the key is a great chair|
I was amazed at how differently each rider chose to approach it in terms of balance, speed, the shape of the horse, & whether or not they used the rolling terrain. That was when I first glimpsed how educational volunteering could be -- and how fascinating to sit at one fence, any fence, all day long.
Of 350, I had maybe FIVE who never lost a steady, forward galloping rhythm & jumped the fence out of stride, as a fly fence should be, while remaining balanced in the center of their horse with a soft & educated hand. Even more surprising was that those five were not the winners, nor were they big names.
|Tremaine: "OOOVER the jump, like this, not through, ok?"|
As he perfectly put it, you are not competing against other riders, you are competing with the CD.
Seeing how a thoughtful & creative CD's mind works showed me elements that I had never even contemplated, such as the simple placement of a jump in relation to different types of terrain. You can change a question entirely just by putting a log at the crest of a hill as opposed to putting it two strides back. Knowing what is being asked at each jump gives you the ability to ride it proactively, instead of reactively. And I think we all have experienced the difference that makes!!
|2006. What MY last 3DE jump would feel like.|
I got to know each rider & follow their ups & downs through the weekend, attend all of the teaching workshops & course walks, pick the brains of officials, & meet fellow Adult Riders who, five years later, are irreplacable friends.
I walked away with two distinct feelings: (a) I want to do this more than anything! (b) With Brian O'Connor's trademark voice on the loudspeaker, a contest for the Best Dressed at each jog, dressage judges at C and E, & multiple vet checks, you really did feel like you were doing Something Big.
|Max & DOC help Karen O. warm up at Rolex 2006. They'll help you, too.|
But at the same time, there was a clear undercurrent of team spirit, that we, riders, volunteers, clincians, judges, were all in this together & if any member found themselves in need, they'd better find a snorkel before the descending hordes of help smothered them!
Everyone was Someone & as folks like Stephen Bradley & Karen O'Connor & Max Corcoran & Tremaine Cooper & Sharon White & Colleen Rutledge are by your side & no question is silly or out of bounds, how can you feel anything but lucky?
Notice all but one are at a 3DE? Hmmmm.... I showed you mine, now you show me yours!!