photo by
Tales of Taco the Wonder Horse and his ammy rider on their way to a Training Three Day

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In Which Stacy Takes Living in the "Volunteer State" Literally

Team Taco has still been going strong-- but for the past two weekends I have been out of town, volunteering at events.  On Memorial Day weekend I was at May Daze Horse Trials, hanging with Amy and the Panther Springs Farm crew, grooming where I could and doing three different jobs (dressage steward, scribe, and XC starter) at the show.  Then last weekend I was at the Indiana Eventing Association T3D, again wearing three different hats there (10-minute box timer, Long Format Club event representative, and USEA reporter).

In other news, I finished a scholarly article that I sent to a journal... so I have been a busy bee at work too!

I do love volunteering, for two reasons.  Well, three, actually.  First, I always learn something.  Always.  I can watch what works or doesn't work for other riders when I am stewarding or jump judging or starting, get in-the-moment critiques from dressage judges on the test in front of us, or find out how a horse trials actually runs.  These are just a few of the lessons I've had while volunteering.  Second, I get to meet and talk to people who care at least as much about the sport of eventing as I do, and make new friends.  Event officials are just people, and some of them are great fun to hang out with!  And my co-volunteers are some very generous and likable folks.  And, finally, I get to help make the sport happen.  That feels good and easily trumps pouring rain, freezing wind, and baking sun.

Taco has been very patient when I have been away, and has greeted me with his wonderful little nicker when I arrive back at the barn.  He has also been going so well for me and has been quite a joy.  Here is a nice view of what I see from his back.

On the flat, we've been working on more lateral work-- shoulder-in.  I've also kept playing with the counter canter.  I've been using my trot sets to practice my two-point and get that right leg lengthened and wrapped around him instead of gripping with the knee as it likes to do.  Over jumps I have been practicing staying up in my two-point and making the adjustments I need to up there--which is very hard for me!  But he seems to like it better so I persevere.

I continue to feel grateful for the luxurious stretch of time in which I've been able to work on basics.  The lack of pressure of an upcoming competition helps me take each moment at a time and appreciate just being with my number one guy.  When we go back to competing at the end of July, my goal will be to ride as well as possible and meet any specific goals I have for that event (hint: they will probably have to do with riding forward).

Message from Taco:

A handsome man like me needs lots of carrots to stay good looking! Please send some.


Sarah said...

Lovely as always!! Volunteering is a whole lot of fun. I'm with you on meeting people and learning a ton from the experience. I'm in that "no pressure" zone too. I get back on Bailey tomorrow morning (he'll be fresh from a month with Julie Congleton) and don't have a show until Penny Oaks- the last time and place I rode him last year pre-baby :)

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

An excellent post, I love that you walk the talk when it comes to volunteering.

Anastasia said...

Thank you Sarah and Melissa! I am going to Penny Oaks too!