I spent last weekend volunteering for Downunder Horsemanship at their Walkabout Tour in Memphis, TN. I reconnected with several friends from the No Worries Club and met some interesting new friends. I spent the weekend talking to good people about something I love. I also gained new insight into the Downunder Horsemanship company.
Thursday was a short day. When we arrived at one, the road crew was breaking for lunch. I ran into two friends from a clinic in Tunica, MS, who were also be volunteering. We worked for a little over 4 hours unpacking merchandise and stocking shelves in the retail area. Thankfully, one of the other volunteers had experience working retail, so I stuck by her side and did grunt work for her. 🙂 Day two, we spent the day doing much of the same and helped hang the arena banners in the demo area. Day three was also day one of the tour, so we spent the day working the event. Ironically, it was the easiest day! How hard is it to spend a day talking to horse people about horses? 😛
I knew day four would be a tough one, but I was definitely under-prepared!!! I’ve been eating healthy for over a year, so when I eat restaurant food, I have to be very careful. Concessions stand food is an absolute no-no, which means I pack my own food. I should have packed extra, so I could stock up on calories during our last break. I also should have brought my change of shirt and shoes. We had a short opportunity to change, but it wasn’t enough time to run across the street to the camper. I knew the breakdown would take 5 hours, and I thought it would start at 3:30, so I thought we’d wrap up around 8:30. Since the last demo started late, soo to did the breakdown. We didn’t wrap up until around 9:30. By the time we did, my feet were killing me, and I was HANGRY! (Yes, I’m one of *those* people!) Both totally my fault… I was unprepared. Not a mistake I will repeat!
The Downunder Horsemanship Road Crew
The biggest lesson I learned… The Downunder Horsemanship road crew are some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. I would put this crew up there with Army Drill Sergeants… Not in attitude but definitely in stamina and drive. The volunteers worked hard, but the road crew worked harder. When we knocked off on Sunday, I spent about an hour eating dinner and hanging out with my husband in our camper before walking the dogs around 10:45. The road crew was still working, loading the trucks with the crates and pallets we had packed.
The second… The road crew is proud of the Method, the company, and the man behind the Method. The road crew aren’t just sales people familiar with the product; they are horsemen who use the products. Volunteers earn a free kit for their time. When I told one of the road crew that I wanted the new trail kit, he took great pride in showing me how beautiful the kit was and how much great information was in the kit.
The third… They were genuinely grateful for our help and took the time to show their appreciation. Nearly every member of the road crew took the time to personally thank me for helping out. The tour managers took time to recognize us in front of the staff. As much as I tried to thank them for the opportunity, they were thanking me back for being there.
I would jump at the opportunity to volunteer at another Downunder Horsemanship Walkabout Tour. The kit was a lovely bonus, but the real benefit of the weekend was spending a weekend working hard along side good people, both of which are good for the soul!