"Service to others is the payment you make for your space here on earth." Muhammad Ali
The man on the left, was known for throwing punches, and not mincing words. While Ali's body may have left him, his service to the nation, particularly my state, is still felt every time he graces us with his presence.
Every year with the warmer weather, horse shows and events seemingly spring up everywhere almost overnight. My once empty mailbox is jammed full with show fliers, clinic, and event announcements from around the universe.
My company, Team EnGaged is also busy putting the roster together for their annual events.
Unlike the weather, these events don't crop up overnight. They are the brainchildren of committees, business owners and several individuals who feel that the community should benefit from their multiple-day soirees.
But planning only goes far, to have a successful event it takes man power. Lots of it.
Without volunteers who give up their time, their weekends and sometimes their sanity to support the sport there wouldn't be events to feature our pride and joys at or venues to learn from.
If you have shown, cliniced or gone anywhere with your horse in tow, you've seen them, and for the most part, relied on them. These weekend warriors endure the elements, packed warm up arenas, multiple schedule sheets and changes and the occasional ill-tempered horse and human to help progress and see the sport continue.
It's time to return the favor.
For every day of showing, clinicing, symposium, or convention-ing you plan on doing or going to, donate on hour to the sport that is allowing the habit.
If you don't know where or how to begin, contact your local General Member Organization. Many of which sponsor volunteer training and give several avenues for participation.
It will not only make you far more appreciative of the regulars standing out in the hot, sandy arena checking bits or behind the desk scribing or scoring, but will open up different avenues of opportunity.
Also don't forget to say thank you, without them, you don't have a show, or an event to bring your horse to.