Equitation Ring Master Volunteer Position
The primary responsibility of the Equitation Ring Master is to be the “voice” for the judge. When the judge wishes to have the competitors change gaits, directions, movements or perform individual tests, she/he will instruct you and you will loudly and clearly announce (megaphones are provided) to the compeetitors, for example, “Walk, please all Walk”. If there is more than one judge, they will decide, or ask thtem to decide, who is going to provide the rider commands and you will then stay closer to him/her.
You may want to ask the judge how they would like things done at the beginning of your shift, so they will not need to take the class time to explaing what they mean or expect during the class. [It is helpful to watch a class or two prior to your shift, if possible.]
In addition to being the voice of the judge, you should at the beginning of each equitation group verify with the scribe the number of entries in the class and that all entries are present. Competitors may not enter after the class has begun. The ring steward, if one is available, may inform you if a rider is missing. You should pass this information onto the scribe so they know when the class is complete and ready to go. It is not your responsibility to look for the competitor, and doing so will cause delays.
When announcing with the megaphone or your lowd voice, it is suggested you turn around as you repeat the command so all competitors behiind you can hear. BE LOUD, BE CLEAR, BE CONCISE.
If you see a dangerous situation, i.e., a horse out of control, fallen competitor, you may need to bring the class to a walk for safety, especially if the judge’s attention is elsewhere.
1) Do whatever the judge(s) ask you to do! Start the class on time! It is unfair to other competitors to hold a class for a late arrival.
2) Confirm with the ring steward, if available, that all competitors are present for the class. If no ring steward is present, verify with the class list of the scribe.
3) Remind all those outside the ring watching that any coaching while horses and competitors are in the area results in elimination of their horse and rider.
4) Call Commands based on what the judge(s) request for movements.
5) Call riders and horses to the center while judges confer on scores.
6) Excuse the riders
7) Enjoy the day!
Be familiar with the Equitation and Dressage Terms
Change of rein across the diagonal, the designated lead rider should turn after the short end of the ring and continue on a diagonal track to the opposite corner and change directions. Designate the Bridle Number to begin. For example, you would announce beginning with #101, change rein across the diagonal.
Rising Trot, when the rider rises up from the saddle and then sits down. This is also known as posting to the trot. If the judge instructs you to announce trot, verify if they wish the rising or sitting trot.
Sitting Trot, the rider’s seat stays in the saddle
Short end of the ring, the narrower sides of the arena, rectangle
Long Sides, the long sides of the ring, rectangle
Rein-back, asking the horse to halt then step backwards. Ask the judge if they wish a stated number of steps to be taken.
Lengthen or Extended Trot, a longer stride in the trot.
Individual Pattern, a judge may ask each competitor to complete a pattern, while the others watch, then complete the same pattern one at a time.