I don’t get to volunteer for shows nearly as often as I’d like, but I try really hard every summer to do at least one or two. This past weekend, it was scribing at the Vermont Dressage Days show, all day on Sunday for Ring 2.
Dressage Days is pretty much a perfect example of a show that keeps volunteers wanting to come back every year. It’s a tight, sharp show with very good people running it. They truly appreciate the people who help out – offering lunch, snacks, t-shirts, frequent check-ins, and more. The level of competition is very high, so there’s a lot to see and learn from. They bring in very good judges (I sat with an S judge all day) and it’s just generally a pleasant day.
I got to do a few tests I’ve never scribed for before: FEI Young Horse tests, a Materiale class, a Dressage Equitation class, and a Para-Dressage ride. Of them, the para ride was by far the hardest! There were a TON of movements and a ton to score, and they came up fast. I really liked the young horse tests: I didn’t have to scribe the individual movements (though I wrote down some things) and got to really see what the judge was looking at. And at the end of each test the judge had a few minutes of comments for the riders about how the horse was coming along.
Of course, spending the day looking at gorgeous horses and scribing a few dozen First Level tests was not the best for my overall horse-related mood right now. I’ve still got two vets and the farrier debating what to do about Tristan’s toe, his heel grab is healing but slooooooooooowly, and I am sad and frustrated about a summer of training that started off so well and has gone so sideways. Not to mention – even if a miracle happened and a) I could put in three weeks of solid riding starting today and b) somehow put together a First Level test for the show over Labor Day weekend…I am almost certainly not going to get the day off approved.
So pity part of one, over here. It really was a good day, but it highlighted a lot of things I’m struggling with right now.