I am one of those fortunate women whose husband also enjoys horses. Okay – don’t hate me for that. But because of this shared interest, we get to do a lot of things together that many of my other horse friends don’t share as couples. When we found out the World Equestrian Games (WEG) would be held in the U.S. for the first time ever in Kentucky, it was an easy decision that we would attend. I had to be a bit more convincing when I suggested we volunteer to support the Games. After a year’s coordination with the volunteer staff, we received our assignments as Horse Inspection Stewards, scheduled to support Reining, Endurance, and Dressage.
As we approached the fourth place we had been told to park at 5:00 a.m. on Sep 24th, we decided our real mission as volunteers was to “work out the kinks in the system.” A sense of humor always helps in these situations, and it was a warm, dark morning, with very few people in the Kentucky Horse Park. We sported our Ariat-provided cobalt blue Competition Support Volunteer uniforms and credentials, which we had picked up on Day One, and looked as if we knew exactly where we were going. We were scheduled to support Reining, which the WEG describes as “a Western sport that displays the precision and style of horse and rider.” We wound our way to the Reining barns and met up with some other Competition Support Volunteers and the head Federation Equestre International (FEI) Reining Steward, Eric. Success! Eric politely informed us he didn’t need us for at least another hour, and to just relax. So, we relaxed while observing the early morning routine of the grooms, trainers, and exquisite equine reining athletes, mostly American Quarter Horses. [Read more…]