I Love Your Show!
I love your show!! You have the nicest volunteers. At the dressage warm-up, they tell you everything that you need to know (which ring, which sound your ring is, what time you need to go over, etc) without you having to ask anything! I have been there enough that I am starting to recognize volunteers. Returning volunteers is a tremendous sign that you are doing something right!
Also, many volunteers seem to be good horse people as well. I have a challenging horse who does not do well in crowds at all, and everyone was willing to help and accommodate us, and that is so very much appreciated.
My personal struggle is the stadium warm-up because a horse who does not like crowds is a real problem there. Unfortunately, I was one of the loose horses on Sunday because she did not think that I had done something right and was ready to get out of there - without me apparently. Because I am an exception rather than the rule, this may not be a suggestion that would necessarily be beneficial to others, so please, please take this with a grain of salt. At the regular event last year, I feel like there was a person monitoring how many were in the jump warm-up at any given time, maybe? That would have been extremely helpful to me personally. Many riders were accumulating in there waiting for their turns, and they were taking up the valuable space warm-up space.
Also, when you have a horse that doesn't like passing close with others, it did make it difficult to get to the actual in-gate. I could have hugged the man who was manning the gate there. I was able to get to him, and he made a point to tell me that I could stand in the breezeway (or whatever the space was called between the two fences). It was just perfect because she could quietly stand there and not be bothered or bother anyone else. I really appreciated the extra effort he made to tell me that, which is a reiteration of how great and knowledgeable your volunteers are.
Now, I take 100% responsibility for the fact that I have a very difficult horse, and I am in the throes of trying to find a jumping warm-up regimen that is productive and safe for us and everyone else. Clearly, I have not found it yet :-), so I don't want it to seem like I am blaming the venue for my problem. I am not!! I just thought I would share my story in case it might be helpful.
Ironically, in spite of my untimely dismount and her several laps around the parking lot, I had one of my best stadium and xc rounds to date, but I won't ask you to put in a galloping track for just for us!
I love your event and will be seeing you in August, and I will do my best to Velcro myself to the saddle that weekend!
Thank you very much for this opportunity.