For the week (10th-15th September) I have been at Blenheim Horse Trials volunteering as part of their stable team, this is a new thing they set up this year with people volunteering and helping out in the stables by helping riders and grooms unload their lorry and move stuff to the stables, collecting shavings for them, putting ice out in the cool down area for the horses to be hosed off with after cross-country and helping in any other way needed. I have had such an incredible week and have met some of the loveliest people, riders and horses (oh and dogs! Many of which I could have quite happily tried to steal!).
On Tuesday I arrived at the palace for a meeting with the Stable manager and the first day. Only 5 volunteers turned up when there was supposed to be 10 but luckily we all got on really well which made me relax as I was quite nervous but it was so relaxed and lovely. We spent a few hours putting shavings in all of the stables which was probably the worst few hours of the week but after that things were a lot easier as we helped some of the arriving riders to move stuff from their lorry to their stables as we had a little buggy we could carry their stuff on! I think this proved very useful to the riders and their grooms as they had multiple bags of bedding and hay/haylage as well as tack lockers which needed taking over.
Wednesday was spent much the same as the rest of the riders arrived in time for the CCI*** trot up later that afternoon. We were also lucky enough to be able to sit in on the rider briefing which was really interesting and gave an insight as to what goes on behind the scenes. The rest of the week was fairly quiet as people had already moved in and therefore there wasn't much else that needed to be done apart from little jobs mentioned above.
Overall I had such a lovely time as the people there were so friendly including many of the riders and grooms who would chat with us and just sitting in the same area whilst watching the dressage/cross-country or show-jumping rounds on the television and hearing their views made such a great atmosphere! I really hope they decide to run this again next year as it was such an enjoyable week and it definitely made up for the cold and damp weather!
Thanks for reading,
Laura & Pea x