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Simply speaking, drill team is a group
of riders working in unison to create a "dance" on horseback which we often
see in parades or at horse related events. Unlike the slower line
work done in parades, musical freestyle routines are done at a canter or
lope and performed to a musical selection where an entire arena becomes our
"dance floor". The routines can be a short program of 5 to 6
minutes or long programs which are usually 9 to 12 minutes in length. This
performance is a series of patterns or maneuvers choreographed into a full
routine. Some of the names of these maneuvers are, "Suicide Cross", "Peel the Apple" "Crack the Whip" or the
"Double Wedding Ring". There are many, many more and numerous variations
on these same patterns, some of which can be highly complex while others
are quite simple. In competition, it goes without saying that the
more complex the maneuver, the higher the points awarded, IF it
can be ridden successfully. However, even a simple pattern, when ridden
well at a faster gait and with shorter horse spacing can be awarded high
scoring. When putting together a drill routine you are only limited
by your imagination because the possibilities seem endless. Freestyle
performances can be seen at fairs, rodeos, saddle club events and in competition.
Demonstration rides are often seen during the intermissions at horse
Verna Dunar, Webmaster