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DRILL BITS AND PIECES
Welcome to the real
world of Mounted Drill Team! The stories on this page have
been submitted by teams from around the country and are true stories of their
experiences riding drill. Some may make you laugh out loud, bring a
tear to your eye or even send a chill down your spine; they will all give
you food for thought and a 'riders eye view' of this wonderful sport !
Submitted by Equestrian Ministries Drill Team of South Carolina
Our team went
to the South Carolina's horseman's Council this past April.
It was held
in conjuncture with a Pet expo. All kind of animals. DOGS mostly! To say the least, I'm terrified
of dogs, been bitten more than once! So when I pulled up the first thing
I see is dogs everywhere. NOT a good start! They were having some kind of
To give you a setting: Their arena was next to ours, and they put tarps
over their cages. And when the dogs start to race the people scream
at them to "COME On", "Run, Run Run", all kind of things. Get the idea?
Dog folks are a lot louder than horse folks!
To top it off it was as windy as I've ever seen it! The tarps were flapping........and
we're a flag team.
We had some members that had to drive down early the morning of the
Since 3 were unable to make it. So they didn't get a chance to
to all the noise or the animals, as there were camels in the
same barn as us.
We also had been told that the arena would be 80 x 100. We
had changed our music/ routine to this size.
Well the arena was 100 x 150. Big difference.
We thought no
big deal we'll just cut off 1/4 of the arena. We had only a
to practice without music
Well right before we went in I decided to change the side we were cutting
of the dog races ( that were in full steam at this point) BAD
rider starts toward the opposite end of the arena a Fire truck
his lights. YIKES! "Ms Fickles" starts to buck. Just about the time
gets in the arena a mule wagon team comes and parks at the end to
watch. Well some of
our horses started to spook at it. THEN I notice we're running out of music. So I tell my
partner to cut off one circle. She thinks I say go another one so we really
get off. Everyone is starting to fan out.
So I say "GET BEHIND
ME! " At one time I look behind me and I have part of her team behind me. Then
I Say "Follow your leader" . Thinking we'll pull it back together. Then I stop
in the wrong place because of the last minute change. After several
trips around the arena looking totally disarranged we pulled it together and ended
on a go note.
Words of wisdom
to future teams. Don't make last minute changes EVER! If there are dogs around run,
run, run! Then run so more!!! If it's windy consider not using the flags,
horses tend to remember months later. Ask fire trucks not to turn on their
lights at the same time you start your drill and get all your horses accustom
to wagons. If you give a morning devotion on "Attitude" you should have
a good one even when things go a wire! And most Important, the biggie, if the
camels break out the night before,( to breed
each other) things
most likely aren't going to be good the next day......
Our team motto
now is "Follow your leader!" ( some may say it's "Get behind
A LITTLE EARLY"
CONTRIBUTED BY PATTI OF
THE SADDLE GALS DRILL TEAM IN MARYLAND
I was on an
older horse because my usual one was lame that day, and we have thin saddle
pads. I was concentrating so hard on the drill and never noticed that my
thin pad was working its way backward....I kept right on riding, and as I
circled to exit, it came all the way out from under the saddle, over
the horses behind and onto the ground. I never even knew it.
The crowd was entertained....I
got all the way outside and then noticed I no longer had a saddle pad under
my saddle. The horse never did a thing as it flew out they said.
"GREASED PIG, ANYONE?"
CONTRIBUTED BY LORI
FARRIS OF MEEKER DRILL TEAM IN MEEKER, COLORADO.
We were performing
in Craig, Colorado couple years ago and on entering, one line went to
the right and the other to the
left. I was on the left.
At the same time the fair managers decided to do the greased pig contest in the
track next to the arena. As we were turning toward the right side
the pig contest had started and suddenly all the right side horse panicked
and they all were headed for the middle of the arena. Our line only had
the option to join them and see what was the deal.
Our drill master (who
also rides) said there is nothing we can do to save this and we left the arena,
red faced and confused.
Our announcer covered
for us and said we were not there to do our own rodeo and said we would start over
when the pig contest was over. We did and it went pretty well.
past year (I was not there) the horses remembered the scary thing last year
and were a little spooky
and from what they said the drill went off badly from start to finish.
was a llama in a trailer next to the fence. We probably won't get invited
to perform there next year.
Well, one year we decided to go and
spy on a practice held by another team to see what they were doing for the championship.
We meet at there arena and parked out
down the road. Here we were 8 girls in black attire just like mission impossible. We snuck out into the pasture
on our hands and knees trying so hard
not to laugh. We watched their practice from about 50 yards out in this pasture, the horses sensed that
we were there. Some kinda spooked alittle so we decided to sneak back out. We
went into shifts but the
funny thing was when we got to our cars, there was a police officer shining
CONTRIBUTED BY CARMEN OF CLASSICAL REACTION
OF MYAKKA, FL.
his flash light into our cars. He turned his
light on us and here was 8 women dressed in black with mouths wide open. What
are you ladies doing out here? Just watching the drill team practice. Well this happened
about 3 years ago and
just recently told that team what we had done. we all laughed about it,
but we have never spied on a
team since. We learned our lesson, can you
picture us calling our husbands to bail us
out of JAIL!!! Riding on
drill is NEVER a DULL moment
RUTH UMFLEET OF THE JIM WELL'S COUNTY SHERIFF'S POSSE, JIM WELL'S COUNTY,
We have had
some 'interesting' experiences performing in different arenas. If
we had to enter from the center, we would have to go to the usual place
that we start in our rectangular practice arena and then start the routine
Our routine includes
a Chevy Blazer - we escort the Blazer in via wedge formation (to demonstrate
how to move a vehicle through a crowd) and so we need to get it (and us)
lined up before we start our routine (and the Blazer goes in and turns around
while we are doing the first patterns around the arena).
One of our 'interesting'
experiences was where the announcers booth was at the opposite end from where
it is in our practice arena. You wouldn't think that would make any
difference since our performance is pretty much centered around the Blazer.
But.... somehow we all looked up near the end of the routine when we were
getting in wedge formation to escort the Blazer out and we were looking
at the HEADLIGHTS instead of the TAILLIGHTS!!!! We very quickly
decided that we would just go up, make
a U-turn to form the
wedge so it would look okay. But then, one of our leaders
got turned around AGAIN
and we were on a free-for-all trying to get back together just to get out of
the arena!!!! That is the worst performance we have
done and the leader has
since resigned. We have had many laughs about it, but we were also very embarrassed.
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Verna Dunar, Webmaster