Drill Team

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Drill Team

This is a discussion on Drill Team within the Rodeo forums, part of the Western Riding category

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    03-04-2014, 01:46 AM
Talking Drill Team

I am doing drill team for the first time this summer and I am really exited. I am also a little nervous, but who wouldn't be? There are three performances and we ride in a parade. Does anyone have any advice on anything?
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    03-04-2014, 01:57 AM
I rode on a drill team for two years and had a blast with the riding but the leadership became strained. Has your horse done drill or ridden in big groups before? What sort of performances will you be doing? Is it a big parade?

For my first year I had a horse who was a bit hot and partially blind in one eye. Being sure he had chances to work off his energy before practices, which sometimes had to be kept slow until maneuvers were mastered, and exposing him to the rodeo grounds before the big night were key to my success. Not to mention my own confidence to work him through it.

The second year I rode a more seasoned horse and really had a chance to hone my riding in formation even more. Patience and understanding is key as well as riding with your head up and constantly watching out for other riders. Memorizing the routine early helps a lot as well since it will allow you to ride "three steps ahead" as we liked to say. Always know what maneuvers are coming up next so you're set up properly and not making hasty decisions, it will look and feel more smooth that way.

I'm rambling....as I do often! I loved drill, I miss it dearly and look forward to doing it again some day.

Another question, are you guys doing a Grand Entry at all?
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    03-04-2014, 02:14 AM
First of all, its not my horse, he belongs to a friend of mine that I go riding with a lot. He is the one in the front in my profile/avatar picture thing. He hasn't done drill team before but she takes him on pack trips in the summer. I'm not sure how big the parade is because I just moved here last August. This is a really small town but the annual rodeo, "Border Days" is a really big deal. The horse, (Shiloh) is a little bit lazy and has never been in town so we will have to get him used to it before the practices even start. One thing is that the practices are at 6:30am every weekday, so this might be a stupid question but we feed him before we go right? I don't know about the grand opening thing, but I am guessing probably not, since it is open to girls as young as 6th grade...
    03-04-2014, 02:30 AM
Awesome. Last year most of the riders didn't own the horses they were riding, I didn't either so that's not unheard of. Practicing everyday is actually a great luxury, we did once a week in the beginning of the year then stepped it to twice a week closer to our performance.

The first year the horse I rode was fed after riding. He was always worked up by the end of the practice and then I had a 20 minute trail ride back to his barn to cool him out before he ate so it worked out. Second year the owner didn't let me come tack up/untack so I can't remember if the horses were fed before or not...depending on the intensity of the practices is be tempted to let the horses cool out and just eat after.

I cannot imagine riding with such young members, our youngest was in 8th grade and was a great rider but her youth showed in being timid to work as a group and not really knowing which adult on the team to take directions from. I'm sure young riders could work though!

I've noticed lazier horses are more tiring to ride on a drill team. We worked to be fast paced and the lazy horse I rode had me beat by the end of the practice! She was constantly needing lots of leg and seat to move forward and stay in formation. Another horse on the team was not happy to be pushed faster then he liked and we ended up having to switch him out for a faster horse.

Grand entry is a routine done with the American flag. We would come out first at the rodeo, do a slower routine at the trot, with flags and then lost of the team would exit while two riders would take a big American and a big state flag around the arena before stopping for the national anthem. Flag work was a lot of fun for me but that takes getting used to for a horse as well and requires a strong neck reining/leg yielding horse. When we didn't ride with flags we were required to ride two handed for ultimate control.

Sounds like you'll have lots of trips to town and working on how well the horse deals with new experiences this summer! Have fun, I'm sure you'll grow a lot as a rider with this experience, I know I did.
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    03-04-2014, 02:42 AM
I guess this is just a youth drill team because it is only 6th-12th grade. I am a sophomore. This horse isn't that lazy, when we are trail riding all it takes is a tap with a stick to get him moving. There are a couple of girls that ride with flags bu not all of them do. I can message you the video to last years performance if you want.
    03-04-2014, 02:48 AM
Oh got it, a youth team might explain the morning practices. I can't imagine months of daily balancing riding right before going to work. Is your team a part of your school or 4h type program? Glad your horse isn't too lazy, that will be more fun for you :)

I'd like to see last years performance when you get a chance. It may be pretty different then the drill team I rode with.
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    03-04-2014, 12:09 PM
Thanks for sharing the video :) It's similar to the rides I did, was trying to find the videos to share but I'll have to do it later when I have more time.

drill team, parade, parades, rodeo

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