Monday 23 May 2016

Horse Community

May Long Weekend: the modern equivalent of a rain dance whereby Canadians across the country go camping or pursue other summer activities in order to make rain or snow fall from the heavens.

This year it was rain, lots of much needed rain, considering that the whole province has been tinder dry and our North is on fire. Despite it being a crappy weekend for outdoor pursuits, I don't think anyone is truly upset.
Note: when I say "lots" that is extremely relative, we've had a couple inches of rain, but we only average about 12" of rain in a whole year so it's significant for us

I was going to go camping and trail riding with Kachina, but ended up staying home. Instead I spent all of yesterday volunteering at a local hunter/jumper schooling show.

I was the judge's assistant for the day. That gave me a variety of tasks to do. I was the whistler, timer, walkie-talkie communicator, scribe, division champ calculator, and fill-in announcer.

My view from the judge's booth

The rain resulted in a last minute switch from outside to inside, but the show was very well organized and ran smoothly for the most part.

This is the 3rd hunter/jumper show I've volunteered at in the past year. I'm friends with the organizer which is one reason, but I also feel like volunteering is important to help the horse community and to generally be involved. There are very few local shows, so generally most of the hunters/jumpers will ride themselves and riders from other disciplines are needed to help. The show desk and in gate were manned by two other dressage riders.

Meeting those other dressage riders was a highlight for me. Previously I knew of only two other dressage riders (riders who focus on dressage as their main discipline) within 100km of me. Now I know of four total: myself, my friend K who wasn't around this weekend, P a lady who I met once before but got to know a bit better yesterday, and A who is a 3rd level rider that rides on her own acreage and I just met for the first time. I exchanged contact information with both P and A, so now I have other people to potentially haul to clinics and shows with.

Kachina, pre-mud

Speaking of clinics, I found out that another jumper facility is getting a dressage coach in to give a clinic in the middle of June. Unfortunately, the clinic is already full, but my name is at the top of the waiting list and they are already planning a second clinic.

All in all, it was a good way to spend a Saturday. We are all part of the same horse community and it pays to build connections across all disciplines. Also, as the hunter/jumper judge said so eloquently, "jumping is just dressage with sticks in the way".


  1. Ah yeah I love volunteering too and I hope to get back at it sometime after Grad School :D very fun