Friday, October 30, 2015

A horse-related volunteer opportunity... I don't know what to do...

Recently I have started following a couple of blogs by endurance riders.  I've looked a couple of times in the past, but yesterday officially started following them.  I know very little about Endurance Riding, but it seems like a fun, if not stressful.  Riders get hurt.  Horses get hurt.  Riders can go the entire distance only to get pulled at the last vet check and not complete the ride.  And that's the main thing.  To complete the ride in one piece.  Winning would be nice, but...hahaha.  From what I know, Arabians seem to be the most popular breed, although the one of the blogs I have started following she rides several different breeds, including a couple of gaited breeds.

So, I decided to look to see if there were any endurance rides in Arizona that I could go watch.  I don't plan on doing it myself simply because I'm a bad shape for any kind of riding right now and I don't have a horse to ride anyway, but I think it might be interesting to watch.  I found out there's one in a couple of weeks and it's super close to where I live.  They have a Facebook page so I went to their page to check it out and one of the people "in charge" of the ride posted that they still needed volunteers so I posted on the wall asking what volunteers would do and she gave me her email address to contact her, which I did.

And that's where we are now...if I agreed to do it, I would be helping maintain a water station.  As the horse and riders come through you get their rider number and record the time they are coming through.  It sounds easy enough for sure, but the part that has me hesitating on telling her I'll do it is that the shifts are 8 hours long and I would have to stay the entire time.  I'm pretty sure I would not be capable of standing that long and I don't know that I'd be allowed to sit down for any part of that so I have not replied to her, yet.  She needs an answer soon, though.  I don't know.  I don't know what to do.  I'm certainly under no obligation to tell her I'll do it, but I do need to let her know asap.  <sigh>

On a different Friday is day one of the Member Preview for the new tiger exhibit at my local zoo.  It was supposed to have been finished in 2012.  Then we were told 2013.  Then 2014.  Now we finally have specific date.  Member Preview on Friday and Saturday then it's open to the public on Sunday.  The zoo opens to members an hour before the general public so it'll be easy, at least initially, to keep the general public away, but I wonder what they'll do when the zoo opens to the GP.  When they had the temporary Koala exhibit (they were on a 5 month loan from San Diego), they had a specific line for members only and they had employees ensure non-members didn't get in to see the Koala before they were allowed.  The big difference is that the Koalas were in a stand-alone building in the Children's Zoo and it was easy to filter people into a line and not line but the new tiger exhibit is on a major thorofare that leads to the Komodo Dragons, the Borneo Orangutans and the lower Elephant viewing area.  I'm trying to remember how they handled the opening of the Komodo exhibit, but coming up blank.  Oh. That one sort of had an entrance route and an exit one so employees were posted at both locations to keep non-members out.  I imagine they'll do a line-type thing like they did with the Koala and leave half of the walkway open for non-members.  I guess I'll find out next week, although I'll probably be in and out before the zoo opens to the GP since that's the only exhibit I plan to visit that day.  I will share pictures more than likely.  It will be first time seeing the new female tiger Suriya, who came on a breeding recommendation from the Oklahoma City Zoo after breeding attempts between resident male Jai (jay) and a female from Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle were unsuccessful.  Hadiah was sent to Dallas to pair with another Sumatran Tiger male and Suriya came to Phoenix.

Anyway, anyone have any advice on the volunteer thing?  I know it's ultimately up to me.  I will let you know what I decide on.

I hope everyone has a good weekend.


  1. So I would respond to the email and explain what you can and cannot do. As a person who solicited many volunteers for horse events it's easier to slot people once I had information.

    I would email her and say that while you can stay for 8 hours it's impossible for you to stand that long because of health reasons and you will need to be able to sit and rest at times. I'm betting that that is okay because it's seems unreasonable. If you can't do that, even with the sitting tell her what you can offer because often they need volunteers for many things.

  2. Thank you, Theresa. I did end up emailing her my concern about standing for the entire time and she told me there would be plenty of opportunity to sit down between riders and that I should bring a chair. Now I just need to think on it...