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It just would not happen without our volunteers!

Please contact Volunteer Coordinator:

Amanda Gifford

Since the inaugural event in 1999, volunteers at Lendon’s Youth Dressage Festival (LYDF) have been the major force behind the staging of this unique, three-phase dressage show. Whether their commitment is for a few hours, or an entire year, more than 250 volunteers work tirelessly before, during, and after the show to make it a memorable learning experience for the competitors and spectators alike.

Welcome, and thank you for considering donating your time to help us make this great event a success. Lendon’s Youth Dressage Festival is the flagship event of Dressage4Kids (D4K), Inc.

Anyone can help – parents, coaches, siblings, grandparents and friends of riders, and fans of dressage!

D4K needs you to volunteer at the Youth Dressage Festival, July 12-14, 2019!  Our many dedicated volunteers make YDF possible. There are many things to help with that require varying amounts of time and knowledge.  Whether you have a few hours or a full day or more, your help will be welcomed and appreciated. Depending on your volunteer time, we provide perks including lodging and thank you gifts.  View our volunteer job descriptions to find the opportunity that suits you. We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your interest in Dressage4Kids.

Please contact Volunteer Coordinator:

Amanda Gifford

To view brief job descriptions, please click on the job titles below.

For those of you with less dressage/horse knowledge than the competitors, there are many things you can do to help them, and hopefully learn a little along the way!

Volunteer Booth- This person is primarily responsible for helping the competitors sign up for their own volunteer jobs, and for keeping track of the competitors during their volunteer shifts.  A chart and checklist makes this job perfect for the person who is clear and concise when giving directions to youth.  This job needs staffing Thursday through Sunday.  One person would be preferred, but shorter time spans can certainly be accommodated.  This person should be an adult or older teen.  No specific horse or dressage knowledge is needed. 

Information Booth- This person answers general questions, gives directions, and smooths the way for competitors, parents, and others.  This person works with the Volunteer Coordinator and the Volunteer Booth staff and has many resources to find the best answers to all questions.  It would be lovely if this person could help Thursday-Sunday, but shorter times would be possible.  Best for an adult or older teen. No specific horse or dressage knowledge is needed.  

Arrival Director- Otherwise known as a “Horse Trailer Traffic Director”.  This person helps make the arrival of all horses and competitors a streamlined and safe process.  This person will have access to the stabling chart and may have an assistant.  This job needs someone Thursday from about 10:00 am until 7:00 pm. and Friday from about 7:00 am until 12:00 pm.  Several shifts would be fine.  Must be a confident adult with an eye for safety, no dressage knowledge needed, but some knowledge of horses and trailering is key.

Departure Director- Similar to the arrival director, this adult keeps the flow of horses and competitors going safely home on schedule.  This job starts Sunday morning and should taper down by mid-afternoon.  One or two shifts will do the trick.

Check in Guidance- Thursday, starting at 11:00 a.m., this job can be covered in short shifts, or the person could spend the entire afternoon in the air conditioned comfort of the show office.  You greet people coming in to the show office, make sure they have both their papers in order, and direct them to the appropriate show staff.  Teen or adult welcome. No knowledge of anything horse-related needed, simply the ability to read a 2-item checklist! 

Self Scoring Assistant- Ability to follow steps in a process, and help youth follow those same steps.  Scoring their own Friday schooling show tests helps the competitors understand the scoring process and the influence of collective marks.  This could be hour-long shifts or for most of Friday afternoon.  Teens and adults welcome.  No specific knowledge needed.

Written Test Translator(s)- Do you speak dressage and horse in any language besides English?  We never know what languages we might need, but your help would be greatly appreciated if we do!  LYDF always attracts a few competitors from many, many miles away.  

Written Test Monitor- We need 5 or 6 adults to hand out tests and help the competitors stay focused. Friday evening, from 5:45pm until the test is done.  Some horse/dressage knowledge would be a plus.

General Helper- Do you need a good reason to be occupied for an hour or two?  Either plan ahead and contact the Volunteer Coordinator, or pop in to the Volunteer/Information Booth and offer your services any time between Thursday 10:00 a.m. and Sunday noon!  From set up to break down, there are lots of non-skilled positions, and some skilled positions, that need to be filled.  Tweens and older welcome.

Skilled Volunteer positions

Be careful of the bees living in the stone walls.  Bee spray is available at the volunteer booth.

The Stewards’ Assistants are adults who support the Nonnewaug High School student Ring and Warm-up Stewards.  The stewards are well trained, and work very hard, but sometimes need an adult voice to get a clear message across.  Understanding the timing of dressage shows is key to assisting the Stewards.  Understanding the needs of competitors and their coaches is also important.  This is a wonderful position to get to see the horses and riders as they warm up and compete.  Stewards’ Assistants are needed each day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  

The Equitation Ring Master is the voice of the judge, so these volunteers need to have clear voices that carry a fair distance outside.  A working knowledge of dressage terms as well as how group equitation classes operate will be helpful.  Different judges use their Ring Masters in different ways, but for the most part, the Ring Master gives the group of riders the commands and directions the judge wants to convey.  The Equitation classes are offered on Saturday.

Being an Equitation Scribe is an amazing opportunity to hear the thoughts of judges looking at groups of dressage riders.  You will be recording the judge’s comments and scores about each competitor, not on specific test movements.  You must work quickly, accurately, legibly, and quietly. A working knowledge of dressage and an understanding of how group classes are paced will make this job easier! The Equitation classes are offered on Saturday.

If you have never been a Dressage Test Scribe before, it is a challenging but rewarding opportunity.  For those with Scribe experience, we need you!  For those who have never scribed before, but have good note-taking skills and a fair amount of dressage knowledge, we still have scribe positions to be filled.  Scribes are needed for every test, from the Musical Freestyle to Leadline, FEI to walk-trot, and don’t forget the Prix Caprilli and Dressage Trail!

A Scribe allows the judge to keep his/her eyes on the ride at all times 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.  Scribes are needed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

As a dressage test is like a written riding lesson/training session, scribing is just as educational!

For the best “how to scribe” information, please review the USDF Guide for Scribes.