STRIDE boasts over 300 members. Some of those folks live out of the area, and some even live out of state. Nevertheless, they are members and their participation at shows and clinics is a great asset to STRIDE.

As far as core members, there are about 30 folks who consistently attend meetings. This makes sense, given the wide geographical area that our members cover and the fact that meetings are generally held in the evening during the week.

Because of the above logistics, that strong core group frequently shoulders the load for the rest of us. It’s the law of proximity. They are at meetings when jobs are assigned, and despite the phenomenal amount of work required, they are generally selfless people, so they continue to give.

On the other hand, sometimes people don’t get involved because they’re uncertain about exactly what they are getting into. Who needs more uncertainty in their life???? We get it.

The Board members of STRIDE decided to put their heads together to address the conundrum of burn out of those ever present, ever laboring members, and the apprehension that may keep others from getting involved. This was done via a series of visits to various “stations” at the February STRIDE meeting held at the Sherriff’s Substation near Belleview, Florida.

Experienced members manned task tables and provided explanations and answered questions about the various jobs involved in making STRIDE tick. These jobs ranged from serving as an officer to scribing for a horse show.

Ultimately, the message was this:

  • STRIDE members are a friendly lot, especially when welcoming new volunteers.
  • Even if the thought of showing and volunteering at that same show seems overwhelming, show times, warm-ups, etc. can be worked around.
  • There are lots of little jobs. Many hands make light work. Contact Rachel Devick, recording secretary and volunteer coordinator, to volunteer for a little job. Baby steps.
  • Remember, four volunteer hours are required to be in the running for yearend awards.
  • If you have a friend or spouse willing to pitch in, you can be credited for their volunteer hours.
  • Volunteers don’t work for free; they receive vouchers good for STRIDE shows and events. It’s conceivable that if you volunteered enough, you could show at STRIDE shows for practically nothing!
  • Volunteering gives you the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with new horsey people. If you are a professional, it’s an economical way to be seen and cultivate  meaningful contacts!
  • Volunteering looks good on a resume!

BE BOLD! If you missed this meeting but have questions about what the duties of a particular officer entails or what you have to do if you are a show manager, just ask or check the STRIDE website under VOLUNTEER. You can find descriptions of various jobs and responsibilities. Your interest will be greatly appreciated!!!