Volunteers are special people. They give freely of their time and labor, often of their own money, asking no return for their efforts. They are vital to the success of our country, which would fall apart were it not for the work of volunteers.
I cannot name a heavy horse show that does not depend on volunteers. They serve in many ways. The men and women who arrange sponsorship, ribbons and show schedules; serve as stewards, gatemen, ringmen, announcers and clerks; who organize, manage and transport. Too often their tasks are taken for granted. Without these people, there could be no show. How long will events be able to be so dependent on voluntary help?
Our draft horse organizations depend on volunteers. These people often carry more than their share of the load. Seldom do they complain. Yet, we fault these volunteers for their actions, criticize these volunteers for their errors. They should not be roared at by an anxious exhibitor if anything goes wrong. It may not be their fault and after all, they don’t have to do it and likely won’t again if they are disheartened and depressed at the end of the day.
Organizers must not underestimate how well they should look after their volunteers. A free pass, a good lunch, and the chance of a long break all go without saying. A volunteer should come away from an event feeling like they have contributed something useful to the day. They should feel as though they would like to come again.
I suggest we all take a moment to have a look in the mirror. There are many volunteers who have made the heavy horse industry a great success because of their dedication and hard work. These are men and women, who do their best, at no personal cost to you. However, these volunteers need encouragement. They also need your help; they need everyone’s help.
Do your part. Take a moment to thank a volunteer!