Anybody know any good books or sites that they can recommend for me so I can do a bit more research?
Thanks in advance!
I'm involved in one - we meet one evening a week - numbers vary - join when you can, don't worry about it if you can't. Our "caller" basically uses dressage tests for inspiration. Works out pretty well because we have all levels of riders participating. No canter work - just walk and trot - we also try the occassional pinwheel and some easier more advanced stuff. It's all for fun though - we'll never compete!
We have one at our farm on occasion Usually for one week in the summer during 'drill team camp' and again in December so we can perform for the parents at the barn Christmas party.
Some helpful hints from my experience are: The kids should be at a level where they are cantering even though the drill team is at trot, practice the moves at the walk alot, they need alot of practice across the diagonal thread the needle ( use dressage letters), large horses lead, small ponies bring up the rear, have the kids keep an eye on their partner at all times, and have a captain that calls out the moves.
Its really fun and the horses love it! I will try to paste a video link in anothet post.
My buddy at work was in the Spotted Saddle Horse demo ride at WEG and they did a drill routine - it was pretty hard! I've done mounted squaredancing before and that was really hard. It's a blast though, and great for skill development.
What he said was that they learned segments of the drill and put them together just like any dance routine and that not only do you have to learn the pattern but you need to have a good sense of space so you match up with your partner - they did a lot of separating and rejoining in their routine - I'll see if I can't find it, I know my DD's friend recorded it on her phone at the time, but where it is now??
Still on the phone I guess - can't find it on Youtube at all darn it.
Try looking for the London police at the Olympia horseshow - unbelievable routine.
Last edited by ReSomething; Feb. 6, 2012 at 02:19 PM.
Thats the link to our little performance at Christmas. This drill was the result of about 5 hours worth of practice time and most kids missed one or two practices. Its a good idea to have your leads show up for all practices!
Will be doing some googling tonight. I did see the Olympia performance, and am amazed that so many riders seem to be doing this. The horses had a blast -- then again, they might have been enjoying a good laugh at our expense!
Mounted squaredancing? I had NO IDEA that existed. How cool!
Pixie! Wow -- that's amazing stuff! I sent a link to our team - our goal is to do something for either the summer bbq or the winter party, so this is perfect.
There used to be a group around here called the Octospots. 8 riders on matched (sort of) appaloosas who did Square Dancing patterns on horseback. VERY cool and probably great for close in work not needing a large ring.
But my favorite drill team of all time is this group
Drill teams are fun. You can check them out at rodeos. Usually there is at least one drill team at a rodeo.
We had the Circle M Drill Team when I was a kid. Our leader was Helen Hendry who moved here from California. We met every Sunday after church down at the "hog pen." We rode in parades and in rodeos. Those pesky flags we had to carry always upset one of my 2 horses.
We tried having an english drill team about 11 yrs ago, but it didn't catch on at our barn. I'd have had to carry a tiny cocktail size flag with Cloudy and Callie.
People still look at the picture of our drill team taken by a professional photographer from the top of the hog parlor, and ask "who is that horse?" My 2nd horse Fireball was very flashy. Even on Sunday afternoons at the hog pen.
If you can get enough people to commit, set up your drill team and go to events. It was a lot of fun.
I rode in a Drill Team for a couple years, trained a couple Teams of 4-H kids for demos at their Fair.
I was lucky to have a couple good riders, who were able to quickly get the routine, follow directions, for my lead riders. Their horses were pretty evenly matched in stride, so not doing the "catch up" thing all the time.
The rest of the kids had various sized animals, but their emphasis was to "be in the correct location, keep the proper spacing, at ALL times". Spacing was same for all, with a 4ft width between riders in line-ups, and a horse length between when following another horse in the column, 2 horse lengths for the crossovers. Each person knew who their Partner was, so they could look across the arena, Partner should always be opposite of them, which made it easy to pair up for columns.
If you WERE NOT in those locations, you MUST hurry and catch up, move your horse faster to stay in place.
We practiced weekly for several weeks, kids got the idea. Equines also liked the routine, hurried to stay in place. The rider and equine MUST be able to move out to stay in postition, not doing only poky gaits. We didn't do flags for everyone, usually just the Lead Riders. But if flags get in the way, leave them home.
It has always interested me how the Lead Riders will set a steady pace, usually a trot, but the riders at the back can be just FLYING along! I think that speed does add visual interest in the manuevers like the crossover and the pinwheels, both large and small. Riders staying even in line for the pivot of pinwheel presents a better appearance to the observers, especially if they are higher in bleachers.
Try to have music with a beat the horses can match, they like a suitable rhythm to match strides with. Popular music may not work well, without lots of hunting. Sousa marches are made for riding to, strong beat in them, easy to match to horse routines. Old Western songs like "Yellow Rose of Texas" are riding songs and match horse strides. Old Folk Songs everyone knows the tunes to, are quite popular if they match the horses gaits, set a happy mood for the audience.
I was on a drill team for several years and it was a blast! Wish I could get another one started up. It was really good for the horses, too. My mare ended up knowing the drill better than I did at some points. I always deferred to her because her memory of the routine was more reliable. It is a time commitment, and you need a good instructor. Your horse has to be able to work in close quarters with other horses. We had one woman rider badly kicked by another horse - she had to go to the hospital and get quite a few stitches, but fortunately no broken bones.
Want to add that a lot of Civil War era songs like "Battle Cry of Freedom" are good for drills, because they come from a time when there was a cavalry. Our group also found that the Bee Gees greatest hits make wonderful drill songs. We also did a routine in memory of Michael Jackson to "Thriller" in which all of the rider wore one glove.
I realize this is an old thread but check out the Midwest Renegades Equestrian Drill Team in northern IL.
Teams include: Regular drill, flag drill, kids drill, trick riding drill, "geezer" team.
Specialty acts include: Roman riding, vaulting, bridleless + bareback, reining, classical dressage, comedic freestyle act and much more.
Absolutely professional and dedicated riders, coaches and ground crew