ADT #2 was a lot of fun. I didn't compete, but I volunteered instead. As a competitor it is a good idea to volunteer once in a while to gain some inside knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes as well as what goes into putting on one of the events we enjoy. Besides all of that, you get to see everyone. The newbies in the sport, the in-between-ers like me and the people who have been at this longer than you have.
I worked the 'gate' in dressage at 'A'. As everyone went in I wished them Good luck. As they came out I told them Great job. These are things that can help settle your nerves and help you relax. A couple of people went off pattern. One woman as they came out said "That was all me." I told her "Honey, We've ALL been there. Welcome to the club. You're in Great company!" She really is.
We have ALL f'ed something up at some point. We have all made mistakes starting out. Some of us still make them now, just different kinds. lol
After dressage and cones we had a short lunch break. Then when it came time for hazards, I was elected to run the starting 'gate'. There were a few people who thought we actually did it in the order posted. Yeah, not so much. Jim was helping me out, meaning he brought the gator and somewhere to sit... He was also doing the safety checks. Some from afar, others closer in, but each present and accounted for. I learned some new faces to go with familiar names, new names and faces and familiar parts of both. Why is it in the horse world, we know people more often by their horse? You know, the woman who drives the chestnut with the big blaze... or the grey mini with black points... Yeah, her! I know who you mean now.
It was fun and I learned how to 'read' when to send the next horse in a way to keep things rolling smoothly. When it was all over and the last horse had gone, I talked Jim into driving the course on the gator. I am SUCH a bad influence! He acted like he was a bit hesitant, then he said to buckle the screen/net/door... I put the seatbelt on too. I radioed ahead that there was one more to go as we cruised towards hazard #1. We went thru the "In" gate and had NO CLUE where A was. Both of us looked around, seen it and Jim went into the Kokopelli Pipes to go thru it. We wound around to B, then C and decided we were doing Intermediate level so we finished up with D and E... As we came towards the "Out" gate, my friend Sharan was giving us the signal of shut it down- hand back and forth across the neck. Jim stopped just before the gate and she told us we went thru A the wrong way. We had E'ed out. Then the woman with the stop watch told us time was still ticking because we hadn't left the hazard yet. We bombed out in a BIG way!
So you can all see by that, there is FUN to be had at these events, whether you're competing or not. Sometimes it is more fun Not competing. The stress levels are waaaaay down. And the driving club folks? We take Really, REALLY Good care of our volunteers. Lunch, gift bags and a raffle for fun prizes, just for being there? Booyah! Sometimes you also get a T-shirt.