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Volunteering with HDS

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they have the heart.” – Elizabeth Andrew

Reasons to Volunteer

Why Volunteer?

HDS Volunteer Job Descriptions

  • Training will be provided for new volunteers

  • Volunteers are asked to commit to a half day shift, except for scribes who are asked to commit to at least a full day (preference to the whole weekend)


Scribe: The job of this person is to allow the judge to always keep his/her eyes on the ride while still giving feedback on every part of the test to the competitor.  Judges depend upon the scribe to quickly, accurately, legibly, and quietly record the scores and comments made for each movement.  This job requires you to sit with the judge to document comments and scores. You must write quickly and neatly; be familiar with standard dressage terms and abbreviations (These can be found HERE ) . The scribe must always be early for their shift, be professional and dress conservatively and appropriately for the weather. This position requires experience scribing at schooling shows or extensive riding experience across levels.  Experience can be gained by scribing at local schooling shows or getting involved in the USDF’s L Program.


Competition Ring Steward/Equipment Check: For most HDS shows one person performs the role of competition ring steward and equipment check. This person, in conjunction with the warmup ring steward, is responsible for keeping the competition ring running on schedule. They should notify the warmup ring steward when the next rider is on deck. If you are working at an arena with multiple competition rings – tell the entering rider if their ring is using a bell or whistle. You must keep track of which rider is performing; use walkie-talkie to notify the warmup steward which rider is entering the ring.


Following the completed rides, this person will examine the horse and rider to ensure compliance with USEF/USDF/FEI rules (as applicable). This part of the job requires an experienced horse person, and preferably someone with extensive experience in Dressage. You will receive print outs of the legal bits, spurs, and current saddlery rules. Using a clean disposable glove for each horse, carefully examine the mouth and bit to ensure the bit is legal. You will measure the whip length, check spurs, and look for any signs of blood or spur marks. Finally, you will look at the equipment and dress in general to ensure its within the rules. If any concerns come up the TD should be called over the walkie talkie and the volunteer should hold the horse and rider at the gate.


Warm Up Ring Steward: At a large show, this can be a busy job requiring clear concentration. Ask for the number of each horse entering the warmup arena and check them against your competitor list. No horse may enter the warmup arena without a number and if there are multiple rings, they should only warmup in their assigned spot. Keep the riders informed of their order of go into the competition ring, and in working with the ring steward ensure the riders head to the competition rings on time. Closely observe riders as they warm-up for unsafe conditions. In case of an accident, calmly notify the TD, EMT and show management using your walkie-talkie. Quickly close the arena gate if the horse is loose! The warm-up steward is also an advocate for the horse. Report any perceived abuse; excessive use of whip or spurs; aggressive or forceful riding to the TD via your walkie-talkie. Do not intervene. Let the TD observe and take appropriate action.


Test Collector/Runner: This is a great job for a young person or inexperienced volunteer. Collect the completed test from the judge after each ride. From there you will deliver the test to the show scoring office. Runners may also be requested to retrieve beverages and other needs for the judges and scribes.


Gate Keeper: No experience required. For dressage shows, the Gate Keeper sits quietly near the end of the competition arena to open and close the arena before and after each ride. This is only needed for Championship or CDI classes.


Scoring: Must be able to use a calculator or computer to enter or check scores. Detail oriented job. Pleasant indoor work. Some knowledge of the tests is helpful.

Floater: This person will float around to each volunteer and offer relief for bathroom or snack breaks.  They are also the “odd job” person if there is anything that the show committee needs.

Job Descriptions

Upcoming Events

  • Multiple Dates
    Thu, Oct 05
    Oct 05, 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
    Katy, 2501 Mason Rd #100, Katy, TX 77450, USA
    Oct 05, 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
    Katy, 2501 Mason Rd #100, Katy, TX 77450, USA
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