Volunteer Incentives

2015-2016
DDC Volunteer Program Incentives

The DDC shows are now a longer distance from the Dallas area so the DDC Board has started a Volunteer Incentive program.

Each Volunteer will receive a Volunteer Gift Basket with special treats for you and your horse. Also included for the Volunteer will be a gift card. The gift card will be $10 for half a day, $25 for a full day or $50 for volunteer two days.

For Volunteers donating two days of their time the DDC Board has hotel arrangements for your over night stay and your food for the days will be provided.

Online Sign Up

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Volunteer Hours go toward Year End Awards, only 4 hours are needed. You can keep your hours or you can gift them to someone else.


When signing up, please include the hours you are available.



Ring Steward – Warm-Up

Job Description: The main job of the warm-up ring steward (a.k.a. paddock master or gatekeeper) is to ensure that riders have a safe place to warm up are ready to go into the competition ring on time. You’ll keep track of horses as they come and go, notify riders if the show is running ahead or behind schedule, and notify management of any no-shows. Maintaining safety in the area includes keeping people on foot from entering the arena; making sure that longeing is only done in designated areas; limiting riders in the warm-up arena to those preparing to enter the competition arena; and asking out-of-control horses to leave the arena and school in an alternate area if possible. You may also be asked to inspect tack (especially whip length) by show management.

Job Requirements: No prior experience is needed, but you do need to be comfortable working around horses and know how to keep yourself out of harms way. Patience and tact are needed as you will be dealing with competitors, coaches/trainers, parents and spouses.

What to Expect: If you are not working in an indoor or covered arena, some form of cover will be provided. There is usually a lot of traffic around the warm-up arena – horses coming and going, trainers/coaches working with their students, grooms and well-wishers. When the arena is busy and there are a lot of horses coming and going, you’ll spend a lot of time your time on your feet – primarily to keep yours out of underneath theirs! You probably won’t be able to view the actual tests as they are being ridden, but you will get to see the warm-up and will usually pick up some tips on how to ride a test or deal with specific problems in a test. You'll have plenty of people to visit with and can always have friends stop by.

Ring Steward – Competition Arena & Equipment Checker

Job Description: The two jobs of ring steward and equipment checker are usually done by a single person. The job of the ring steward is to make sure competitors are ready to go into the ring on time. The job of equipment checker is to perform random inspections once the competitor has completed a ride and notify the TD (technical delegate) of any potential issues.

Job Requirements: No prior experience is needed. You need to be comfortable working around and with horses, in addition to keeping yourself out of harms way, you must be willing stick your finger in their mouths for the bit check. (This is not as bad as it sounds, and you will have plastic gloves.) Patience and tact are needed; you’ll be dealing mainly with competitors and their horses.

What to Expect: If you are not working in an indoor or covered arena, some form of cover will be provided. The competition arena is much calmer than the warm-up arena, you only have one horse coming and going at a time, and most of a competitors “entourage” are headed to stands (before test) or stable (after test). On the positive side, you get to watch all the tests. On the down side, you have to perform random equipment checks, which include the dreaded bit check. (Really it’s NOT that bad.) You’ll be provided with rubber gloves and you’re basically checking to make sure the horse has a “normal” bit in its mouth, vs. barbed wire or some other strange contraption.

Scribe

Job Description: The job of the scribe is to make sure the judges have the proper tests for each ride, ensure that the test is marked with the correct competitor’s number, and write down the judge’s comments exactly as given. Your job is to take notes and make sure all the correct blanks are filled in.

Job Requirements: For rated shows, you MUST have prior experience. (Schooling shows are a great place to get that experience.) You must be able to write fast and legibly – at the same time! You should be organized and able to multitask – judges do not always give scores and comments in order, so you must keep up with the judge and make sure no movements are skipped. (Although not required, the ability to read minds does help.)

What to Expect: This is definitely a “desk job”, but not in an office and not always with a desk. You’ll have something to write on (desk, TV try, clipboard) and you’ll have some type of cover to protect you from sun and rain.

On the upside, you’ll learn a LOT from the scores and comments – both about the judge (what they look for, pet peeves, etc.) and on how to ride a test. However, this is a job where the old adages “to be seen and not heard” and “speak only when spoken to” apply – BIG TIME! If you’re really lucky, the judge MAY ask you if you have any questions during breaks. You also may be invited to have lunch or dinner with the judge. On the downside, you don’t get to watch the rides – you’ll be too busy writing. You might be able to catch glimpses of lower level rides, but the higher the level, the more movements there are, and the faster the comments come.

Scribing is one of the more popular volunteer positions. Since judges prefer to have the same scribe for the entire show, the more time you can work (weekend vs. day vs. half day) the more likely you are to get the job and the perks that go with it.

Runner

Job Description: The primary responsibility of a runner to get completed score sheets from the judge(s) to the office in a timely manner. Runners may also be asked to deliver messages, refreshments, and supplies to the judge and/or scribe.

Job Requirements: No experience is needed. You don’t even need to know much about horses – except to steer clear for safety reasons. Although you don’t actually have to “run”, you will be on your feet and moving the whole time. This is not a job for those with low energy or get tired easily.

What to Expect: You’ll be on your feet and moving. Although you’ll have access to the test, you don’t get to read them. Nor do you get to hang out and visit with all the people you’ll see. The benefit – lots of walking. Which, according to www.theramblers.org.uk is good for your health and reduces calories.

Scorer

Job Description: The scorer calculates the overall score for each test based on the individual scores given by the judge using either an adding machine or computer.

Job Requirements: You must be comfortable using a ten key adding machine and a computer. This is a great job for the non-horse person or for those who prefer a climate-controlled environment.

What to Expect: This is the ultimate “desk job” and the only volunteer position where you don’t have to worry about the weather forecast! Downside, you’re in an office, you won’t get to watch any of the rides. Upside, you’re in an office, think “air conditioning”. You are also one of the few people who get to see the completed tests – both with comments and final score. And, if you’re in the show office you’ll learn a lot about the inner workings of a show.

Awards

Job Description: Competitors pick up their completed tests and any ribbons or awards at the awards table. This volunteer is responsible for filing tests as they delivered from the show office, ensuring that competitors or their representatives sign for their test, and handing out the correct ribbons/awards.

Job Requirements: You do not need to be a “horse-person” to do this job. You do need to be organized, patient, and tactful.

What to Expect: You will be sitting at a table with some form of cover. Be prepared to answer the questions “why isn’t my test here yet?”, “when will the tests be here?”, and “when/where will the scores be posted?” at least a few hundred times a day. Competitors, volunteers, and visitors will assume that you know everything about the show and what is going on. You’re not expected to, but you will need to be prepared to direct these questions to the appropriate place. You may or may not get to see any of the rides, but you will meet a lot of people.

Volunteer Check-in & DDC Information Table

Job Description: The two jobs of volunteer check-in and manning the DDC information table can be done by a single person. As volunteers arrive you need to check them in, you give them instructions on where they need to go and what they need to do, hand off any supplies provided by volunteer coordinator. You also need to notify the volunteer coordinator of any no-shows. The DDC information table is set up to provide individuals with information about the DDC and membership. In addition to answering questions, you will accept membership applications/payments and sell DDC logo items.

Job Requirements: Although you do not need to be a horse person (you won’t be working in/around horses), you should be knowledgeable about the different volunteer positions and the DDC as a whole. You need to be organized, friendly, polite and tactful – you will be the first contact for volunteers and potential members.

You will be sitting at a table with some form of cover. In addition to questions about volunteering and DDC membership, you will be asked any and every question having to do with show management, ride times, directions, vendors, and a lot more. If you know the answer, give it to them, if not, you’ll need to direct them to someone who can help. You may or may not get to see any of the rides, but you will meet a lot of people.

Judge Hospitality

Job Description: Competitors pick up their completed tests and any ribbons or awards at the awards table. This volunteer is responsible for filing tests as they delivered from the show office, ensuring that competitors or their representatives sign for their test, and handing out the correct ribbons/awards.

Job Requirements: You do not need to be a “horse-person” to do this job. You do need to be organized, patient, and tactful.

What to Expect: You will be sitting at a table with some form of cover. Be prepared to answer the questions “why isn’t my test here yet?”, “when will the tests be here?”, and “when/where will the scores be posted?” at least a few hundred times a day. Competitors, volunteers, and visitors will assume that you know everything about the show and what is going on. You’re not expected to, but you will need to be prepared to direct these questions to the appropriate place. You may or may not get to see any of the rides, but you will meet a lot of people.

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Dallas Dressage Club is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 

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