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Volunteer at Equitana, Sydney 2013

Equitana is being held in Sydney, Australia this year and the volunteering application process is now open!  I volunteered one year in Melbourne and had an absolute ball.  As always, there are different areas in which you can put yourself forward to help out:

  • Competition – assistance with competition set ups and running
  • Education – assistance with running of educational areas
  • Exhibition – assistance with the operation of information stand & customer service
  • General Office Administration – assisting organisers as required, may include VIP assistance
  • Evening programs in Grand Pavilion Indoor Arena – assistance with ushering and arena set up
  • Stables & Breed Village – assistance with general stable duties
  • Transfer Team – assistance with escorting horses and their handlers throughout venue
  • “Floater” – combination of all above mention duties

Equitana is to be held November 7 – 10, at the Sydney Showground (1 Showground Road, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW 2127).  Perhaps you may like to take a look at the volunteer page on the Equitana site for more details.

“For the wonderful brain of man
However mighty its force
Had never achieved its lordly plan
Without the aid of a horse.” – Ella Wilcox

Equitana Volunteering – That Time of Year Again

For those interested in helping out at this awesome equine event, check out Equitana’s Volunteer Page.

I’ve volunteered once and had a ball! I dobbed myself in for the education area and came away that much more aware of courses that were available for the equine enthusiast.

Pretty much the idea is that you volunteer yourself for a particular section of the event:

  • Competition
  • Education
  • Exhibition
  • General Office
  • Administration
  • Evening programs in Grand Pavilion Indoor Arena
  • Stables & Breed Village
  • Transfer Team
  • “Floater”


For further details, take a look at the website and consider becoming a part of one of the biggest equine events in Australia. Volunteer work is a great way to network and it looks great on the resume!

This year I’ll be on the other side of it. You can come find me at the NCEE stand :).

“All I need to know in life I learned from my horse: great legs and a nice rear will get you anywhere in life. Big, brown eyes help too.”

Volunteer at Equitana 2011

It’s getting to that time of year again!  The large equestrian event Equitana is on the lookout for volunteers for this year.

Held in Sydney this year, the event may be a great opportunity for those nearby to volunteer their services.  Often this results in working three to four shifts over a three day period but then having the rest of the time to check out:

  • equestrian events
  • saddlery
  • clothing and book stalls
  • many other horse related business that are advertising their products or services!

Interested?  Check out  Dates are November 10 – 13, 2011.

“The horse loves his oats more than his saddle.” – Russian proverb

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Jump on in to Werribee

Calling all potential volunteers!

I volunteered at Equitana last year and had an absolute ball with things being very well organised by the volunteer coordinator Leasa Stephen.  She’s at it again, this time working with the volunteers in the area of Spectator Management during cross country day at Werribee.

I received an email from her today chasing up extra hands to help out with volunteering in this area, so if this may be you check out

It’s next Sunday (June 7) so decide quickly!

“It is a full on day being right in the thick of the Cross Country Action. Our job is to make sure the crowds keep away from the galloping horses!!! And yep, you WILL get to see the course in action from the best seat in the house…”

For those of you free, consider the benefits of volunteering for this horse event if:
Eventing.– You want to get into event management
– It appeals to you to acquire more horsey contacts
– You like the idea of having the best seat in the house at such an event
– You want to get a feel for volunteering with regards to something horsey

“There is something about jumping a horse over a fence, something that makes you feel good. Perhaps it’s the risk, the gamble. In any event it’s a thing I need.” – William Faulkner

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Long Term Aid

Feed a man today; he goes hungry tomorrow.  Teach a man to fish; feed him then, for life.

I thought it the coolest thing last year that with my earned points on my credit card, I could purchase a goat as this was offered as one of the reward points choices.  Why would I want a goat?

The card is a World Vision card where a small percentage of the amount I spend on the card is donated to World Vision.  This was appealing when looking into what sort of credit card I would get.  But all the better that it accumulates points and with these I can do further shopping.

World Vision are linked in with my credit card provider and for a particular number of points, I could purchase and donate a goat to a poverty stricken community, positively impacting a family and community over the long term.  Giving money through the use of my credit card is a short term answer, providing an animal that produces milk and can generate an income is a long term solution.

If something from my routine can benefit another (like the use of my credit card) then I’m all for it!  But where do the horses come into it, you ask?

The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust “was established to reduce rural poverty by increasing productivity of working horses and donkeys through animal welfare and management education.” It seems the donkeys have already been provided and are making a massive difference in the income of their owners, but their state of being is questionable.

The Gambia Trust is planning to hold a couple of shows in November with the aim to reward those who take good care of their donkeys and make available education and resources to continue to do so.

“The classes were initially judged purely on condition and handling, but we are also gradually including conformation in an attempt to encourage selective breeding.”

Donkey bit and bridle currently used.The shows have been a big hit, helping to alleviate ignorance with regards to care of horses and donkeys and provide a place for the community to sell food and beverages to visitors from further afield.

The Gambia Trust also provides basic veterinary care at their centre and mobile clinics at local markets.  Training is also provided in schools, at college level and to farmer groups.  On top of this, the centre is also being used for harness makers to improve on what is currently being used and the training of farriers.

Volunteers from the UK come out to help judge, organise and steward these events that aim to make such an impact.  Perhaps the idea of helping out here is slowly forming?

“A horse doesn’t care how much you know until he knows how much you care.” – Pat Parelli

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That Time of Year Again…

To volunteer!

Last year I dobbed myself in for helping out at Equitana 2007 but a spread of EI caused that idea to disappear. Amazing to think it’s already around to that time where volunteers are being asked to put their names forward for the big horse event:

“Have you ever thought about volunteering at Equitana but have just never taken the next step? Well 2008 is the year to get off your horse and join the Hygain Equitana Volunteer Program!

We are currently seeking enthusiastic, passionate people to help at the event. In exchange for your services rendered you will be given a volunteer pack full of various goodies including an official ‘Hygain Equitana Helper’ t-shirt and cap and a ticket to a clinic of your choice!

With various jobs available from customer service to working in the stables there is sure to be something that interests you! So don’t think about it this year, DO IT! Join the Hygain Equitana Volunteer Program today!”

Check out the volunteer page at

A horse which stops dead just before a jump and thus propels its rider into a graceful arc provides a splendid excuse for general merriment. – Duke of Edinburgh

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Me in Ten Years Time

Front gate at Mill Valley Ranch

I’m back home this evening from two days at Mill Valley Ranch with a few classes worth of Certificate II in Horse Studies students.

Apparently each year the first and second year students spend the two days at Mill Valley Ranch making use of the gorgeous horses on the property and willing staff having riding lessons and getting marked off for practical tasks as part of their certificate.

I was lucky enough to be asked to help out with the two days, assessing students on tacking up horses, putting on different types of boots/protective gear and dismantling and putting together parts of the saddle/bridle. I learnt quite a bit from the students while doing so!

Wagon's that visitors stay in on the ranch.

They’re a very switched on group which is great – I think back to when I did my Certificate II and don’t think my year consisted of so many that were so familiar with horses and the management of. It was a great two days and as one who hadn’t been to Mill Valley Ranch before, I was interested to hear from Arthur who set it up and how that came about.

On the Thursday night he spent half an hour or so explaining to the group how he came to be a Christian in his teens and how things lead to him setting up the Ranch which really offers value for money. It shows through the cost and the staff that they aren’t about making money. They are about providing a service and shining the light of their beliefs. I had an absolute ball.

Chapel at Mill Valley Ranch

Something that really resonated with me was Arthur’s talk of how he traveled around a lot of ranches/camps as his great desire was to set up his own place. As he did so, he made note of things he wanted and would use in his own place and has done so, making it uniquely his.

I kept thinking – this is me! I do the same with all the horse properties I visit and have a terrible habit of collecting seeds from places if the plant appeals to me. It’s all in my head how the place is going to look! I’m just waiting for the time I stumble across the property where I can set up my horse property and serve others.

“Life is short. Ride hard.”

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Equine Ministries

Ministry/Ministration – ‘The act or process of serving or aiding.’

When I have the 400 acres I am continually dreaming about, my main goal in life is to run an Equine Ministry. I see this as being a place that looks after the well being of these gorgeous animals and through them, reaches out to people. There are a lot around, many of which make a small profit or none requiring volunteers and whatever the case, all seem to be for a great cause.

Having been a volunteer for a branch of Riding For the Disabled, Australia I see RDA as a well known equine ministry that makes a huge impact on the riders and those volunteering their time and services.

Other Equine Ministries:
HopeWell Ranch – “To provide free, Christ-based equine therapy for children, adults and their families who are challenged mentally, physically and emotionally.”

Horse Haven Ranch Ministries Giving Girls Purpose – A non-denominational, multi-ethnic, Christian Ministry

Miracle Mountain Ranch Missions – The whole setup of the summer camp looks very appealing and Sermon on the Mount completely appealed!

Wild Horse Ministries – As the ministry listed above, this also seems to relate working with and educating a horse to scripture and our growth in life.

Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch – Where it all started for me. Mum heard Kim Meeder being interviewed and her book Hope Rising talked about on LightFM and immediately sought out the book as she felt it’d interest me. I now await the day where I’m able to set up a ministry and reach out to people like Kim and her husband Troy do.

I’m sure there are many more equine ministries around, all different in their own respect but still offering services to those in need and making use of the beautiful animal that is the horse. Perhaps there’s one nearby that you can help out at, volunteer, become employed or become a part of making a difference in someone else’s life. Or perhaps you need a place like this to make a difference in your life. They seem to me a very worthwhile ministry.

“An instructor does not criticize you, but what you have been taught.”

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Utilising Opportunities

Perhaps I spend too much time surfing the net, but for those of you out there looking for opportunities to do things with horses, I’d encourage browsing horse sites and doing lots of searches in regards to your interests just to see what’s out there. I’ve just found a possibility to help out with some horses – grooming, riding, showing – and for many without a horse (and even us with a horse or two) being able to do so at no real cost is always appealing!

The only catch for me is location. Although things are so accessible these days, I sometimes wish the world were even smaller! Take a look at the Heaven Can Wait Equine Rescue website.

Pony available for adoption

Located in Cameron, Ontario, Canada – approx 1.5 hours NE of Toronto, just 10 minutes North of Lindsay, HCW is Currently Looking for Volunteers to Groom & Ride the HCW Horses and Ponies. Showing Opportunities are Also Available. If you live nearby and are interested in helping out, check out to be able to contact the owner in regards to this.

I plan to have a list of many setups similar in Australia once I’ve purchased my property and am looking for horses. After all, rather than breeding my own and adding to the masses, how much more rewarding would it be to give a second chance to an animal that should never need one in the first place?

“Lessons from your horse: When you’re lonely, let me be your companion. Let’s do lunch. Also breakfast, dinner, and snacks.”

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Calling All Volunteers

So I’ve just been looking at the Equitana website and remember the fun a friend had as a volunteer a couple of years back. And through being a volunteer and getting a pass and therefore access to the likes of vet Ian Bidstrup, Andrew and Bettina Hoy, saddler Peter Horobin, Linda and Pat Parelli, Sandi and David Simons and many more, who wouldn’t want to be involved?

Equitana is run over the 15 – 18th of November 2007 at the EQUITANA Precinct, Melbourne Showgrounds, Victoria, Australia. If you’re horse obsessed, and have that weekend free, consider checking it out! Better yet, volunteer and get yourself in amongst some of the best in the industry! Probably wouldn’t look too bad on the resume, either 😉

The site is and while you’re there, do yourself a favour and check out the photo competition!

“An exhibitor went up to a horse show judge to complain about being placed below someone who made some sort of mistake, such as being on the wrong lead. The judge’s explanation:’the other guy did it better wrong than you did it right.'”

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