The Volunteer Incentive Program was established in 2017 and in just one year has experienced incredible growth, both in the number of volunteers using the Eventing Volunteers app and in the number of organizers putting the app to good use. In 2016, when the app was being piloted in Area II, it had just 800 registered volunteers. This year, the app has over 6,000 registered users and is used by 86 USEA recognized events across the country.
Bonnie Kibbie, chair of the USEA Volunteer Committee talks about the responsibilities of the committee and the how the Eventing Volunteers app has grown and developed with feedback from both volunteers and organizers, as well as some of the benefits it provides for volunteers and organizers alike. The app has been designed to be as user-friendly as possible, making it easy to sign up for volunteer jobs, log hours, check out leaderboards, and more!
Kibbie also discusses some of the other projects the Volunteer Committee has undertaken. In addition to the number of resources the Committee has crafted for organizers on volunteer best practices, the Committee is creating jump judge training videos, a project spearheaded by committee member Irene Doo with the support of a grant from the USEA. Doo has been coordinating, editing, and producing these videos, which will be available for all USEA events and volunteers as a free online resource. The Volunteer Committee also recently released a short two-minute survey to gauge interest on a number of possible volunteer educational opportunities. Kibbie describes some of the potential ideas the Committee has been discussing. Click here to take the survey!
Jackie Smith of Stone Gate Farm has been a supporter of the Volunteer Incentive Program since its inception and comes on the show to talk about how organizers can benefit from using the Eventing Volunteers app. As an active competitor, licensed official, ICP certified instructor, and show organizer, Smith has her hands full. The Eventing Volunteers app helps her organizer all her volunteers for her many recognized and unrecognized events in one place and makes it easy to communicate with her volunteers. She’s also attracted new volunteers to her events, just because her events use the app!
The 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) are less than three months away, taking place this year at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado, August 30-September 2, 2018.
First, USEA Director of Programs and Marketing Kate Lokey shares some of the different things that competitors have to look forward to this year at the Colorado Horse Park, everything from the excellent facilities at the Horse Park and attractions in nearby Denver to the exciting parties for competitors and the new festival classes being offered this year.
Next, hear from Matt Brown, who earned his first major championships title as the winner of last year's Adequan USEA Gold Cup Final winner aboard BCF Belicoso. Brown discusses the significance of that win, both how the $40,000 purse helped support his business and what it meant to take the title aboard BCF Belicoso, and how the AEC brings the professionals and amateurs of the eventing community together and provides an opportunity to compete at the same venue in a way no other event offers.
Finally, two-time Adequan USEA Gold Cup runner-up Doug Payne, who has attended the AEC every year since its inception 15 years ago. Payne talks about why the AEC is on his calendar every year as it provides an excellent test for the horses at every stage of training in his program and is great exposure for horses and riders alike. Payne also shares some tips and tricks for riders attending the AEC for the first time!
Tik Maynard joins us on the USEA Podcast this week to discuss his new book, In the Middle Are the Horsemen, out this month from Trafalgar Square Books, how he develops a partnership using horsemanship techniques, and how that translates to riding horses in competition.
Maynard begins by talking about how he first began writing, first for a small British Columbian magazine and then for the Chronicle of the Horse. He was approached by Trafalgar Square Books about writing a book and was enthusiastic about the opportunity to tell the story of how he got to where he is today and how he has developed his training philosophy.
Then, Maynard discusses some of the techniques he employs when working with a horse who is new to him or a young horse just beginning work. He stresses the importance of getting to know the horse, including what motivates him, and being patient, because some horses will need more time than others. Working with the horse to teach him how to yield to different types of pressure will help teach him now to think first and react second, which is an important skill for an event horse. Finally, he discusses different techniques for helping your horse build confidence. Maynard closes with some tips and takeaways for how to ensure your horse is successful in competition.