Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Do I need to have experience with horses or horse shows to become a volunteer?
A: Absolutely not! Although some jobs require specific training or experience, there are many jobs available which require no knowledge of horses or competitions. We also provide some training prior to each event and our officials and other volunteers are available to guide you.
While we enjoy having young people attend our events, our individual volunteers should be at least of legal driving age in New Jersey. We do offer a number of opportunities younger volunteers with appropriate supervision. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Friends of HPNJ or specific event managers to discuss the possibilities.
Q: I want to get involved. How do I know which jobs are right for me?
A: Most of our HPNJ volunteer job descriptions are posted here on our website. Take a few minutes to read through the job descriptions to find the job that suits you best. If you have questions, please feel free to call or email the event manager, or our volunteer coordinator. We look forward to talking to you about volunteering.
Q: What volunteers are needed? Who should I contact to volunteer?
A: You may always contact event managers for specific events, or if you would like to help out multiple shows or at the Horse Park in general, please sign up with the Friends of HPNJ.
We will need to know your general availability, and what jobs you are interested in doing – but we love people who are willing to do anything! Let us know if you have limitations (physical limitations, messy handwriting, etc.), or special skills (dressage scribe, master carpenter, etc.) we should know about when helping you find the right job.
Q: How should I prepare once I’ve signed up?
A: We suggest you review your job description in advance and your volunteer coordinator should contact you with additional event specific details.
If you have further questions or would like more detailed information, please contact the volunteer coordinator or manager for your event. WE are always happy to answer questions in advance; It makes the day of the event easier and less hectic for everyone!
Q: What should I wear/bring when volunteering at an event?
A: Of course this will depend on the job you are assigned, but in general, be prepared for changeable weather and footing. We recommend that you bring sunscreen, insect repellent, sunglasses, a hat, and rain gear (no umbrellas please). We also advise you to bring something to eat and drink just in case you get hungry or thirsty before your break.
It’s a good idea to dress comfortable, and in layers, as the weather conditions may vary throughout the day. Please wear boots or sneakers – no flip flops or sandals. Formal dress is not required, but please no short shorts or tank tops – remember you are representing the show/event. Also, unless you are a scribe, runner or hospitality, please plan to bring a chair that you can carry.
Q: What should I expect when I arrive for my volunteer job?
A: Your volunteer coordinator or event manager should instruct you where to check in. If you arrive early, please take some time to check out the event set up.
Depending on your job, you may have a formal briefing with many other volunteers, or an informal one-on-one briefing. At this time, you will be given the necessary supplies for your job, such as a clipboard, ride times, or other paperwork, stopwatches, two-way radios, etc. Familiarize yourself with the supplies provided. You should be given a quick review on how to use the radio if needed.
Don’t be shy about asking questions! The staff and officials are there to guide you. Staff, officials, and competitors understand that you are a volunteer – and appreciate your help! You don’t have to be an instant expert on show procedures or the rules of competition; just know who to ask or where to send a competitor.
In the unlikely event a competitor or a spectator has an accident, please refrain from commenting about it. You are to direct any related inquiries to the Secretaries Office for the official statement.
For certain events, you may receive a volunteer parking pass, which will admit you to the park and to the volunteer parking area.
Q: What should I do when I’ve finished my volunteer assignment?
A: Your volunteer coordinator should let you know if you will be handling materials over to a replacement or where you need to turn in materials. They will also tell you where to check out. Be sure to let us know if you had any problems at your post before you go home.
Q: How should I provide feedback on my volunteer experience?
A: If there is a volunteer evaluation form, please fill it out before you leave. Otherwise please feel free to email your volunteer coordinator about your experience.
Q: How can I get involved if I can’t help during an event?
A: We can use assistance in the office and out on the grounds preparing for and cleaning up after our events. We also have a number of ongoing projects, such as clearing trails, gardening, painting and various other year-round endeavors.
We are also looking for people with skills in many other areas, such as writing (newsletter articles, press releases, etc.), grant writing, fundraising, event management, volunteer coordinator, any many more.