Sunday, February 16, 2014

Horse Trials "Nighhtmares" Start Early this Year

No this is not the kind of night mare where you wake up because you can't remember your dressage test or you forgot to pack your medical arm band or some other necessary piece of equipment; it's the kind of nightmare that all Event organizers experience before, during or even after their event is over.  In any case I had one of those nightmares the other night.  Maybe it's just my mind's way of telling me that spring is right around the corner.  But in reality it was probably because I was at the Ocala Horse Trials when it poured rain on Sat and turned Show Jumping arena into a lake!!  Or maybe it's because only a couple of days after leaving Aiken the disastrous ice storm hit just days two before the Paradise Horse Trials who somehow managed to pull off the event!! Oh how I empathize with the organizers and all the many people who are a part of running an event.

Lake Ocala
Aiken Ice Storm followed by and Earthquake!!

Interestingly enough this particular nightmare wasn't weather related; it was lack of help related.  I won't bore you with the details but suffice it to say when you don't have any of the show jumping course set up and you only have TWO fence judges and the event has already started; that is a nightmare that wakes you abruptly from a sound sleep to find yourself in a cold sweat!  I tried to tell myself that it's just the middle of February and not to worry but then the "Upcoming Events" on our website up popped with the 'opening date' for Winona coming before the last day of the Winter Lesson Series !!

It's not time to panic yet, but definitely time to get started.  So here's my first plea for volunteers for Winona and all the other competitions we have scheduled for the year.  Please take a few minutes to check out the calendar and see if anything might fit into your schedule this season.  Then go to the volunteer page on the website and see what you might be interested in doing.  If you're ready to take the plunge then fill out the  Volunteer form This does not commit you to anything, but it puts you on the volunteer list for future communications.

Riders, please remember that we cannot have competitions without volunteers and without competitions you have nowhere to compete.  So please consider helping out when you can. You will have the undying appreciation of the organizer and I guarantee you will never get the 8:00 ride!!! Keep in mind that 90% of the work is BEFORE the event. For those of you who will be busy riding, consider coming down with a few friends before the event.  As my mother always told me 'many hands make light work' and who knows ... a little fun too.  One of the perks about helping before the event is that you can get a sneak peek at the cross country & show jumping courses while setting courses, flagging and decorating the courses.

OK... end of the guilt trip; blame it on my nightmare. To my regular volunteers, and you know who you are, I just want you to know how much I appreciate your support over the years and I'm hoping you will be able to join us again this year.  Thank you in advance to all who will be helping us to provide the opportunity for riders to ride, compete and hopefully fun for all.


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