Have you ever watched a good drill team in action? When watching a drill team perform an energetic, entrancing drill the fact that the horse and rider pairs are individuals falls away until you start to see the team as a single unit. Mounted drill teams are fun and a great opportunity to socialize with friends, but they have many other benefits, too. If you’ve been considering joining a drill team, here are some of the benefits that you’ll gain through the experience. You just might want to give it a try.
Enhanced Communication With Your Horse
Riding in a drill team requires that you communicate effectively and quickly with your horse. Riding spirals, circles, and straight lines all requires that you and your horse understand each other. Your initial session with a drill team may reveal underlying training issues that you didn’t know existed with your horse.
Does the prospect of riding a uniform, balanced circle or a well-formed figure-eight make you hesitate? In order to participate in a drill team, you will need to spend one-on-one time with your horse establishing effective communication and control. With time, training, and practice, you will find that you have a greater degree of control over your horse’s direction. This training will improve you and your horse as a team.
Regulation of Your Horse’s Stride and Pace
In addition to communicating with your horse, you will quickly learn how to regulate his stride and pace. Horses on drill teams need to learn to move as a unit, which is a challenge given the differences in the size, pacing, and natural speed of each individual horse. Whether your horse needs to slow down or speed up, or learn to take larger or smaller strides, riding on a drill team will demand that you have control over your horse’s movement.
Improved Communication With Other Riders
Drill team is all about communication – you’ll be in a ring with many other horses and riders, and the success of your performance depends on your awareness of others and your ability to communicate with them. By riding in a drill team you will learn how to safely ride in crowded areas, and you’ll also learn to pick up on cues given off by other riders and their horses. This is all excellent practice for the crowded situations you’ll often encounter in show warm up rings.
Have you struggled to memorize a jumping course or a dressage test? How about a reining pattern? There is no better way to practice and build your memorization skills than to ride in a drill team. The repetitive training a drill team undergoes will help you learn to memorize patterns, a skill that is very important for any rider to possess.
All of the skills and abilities that riding with a drill team builds can be applied to your everyday riding, as well. You may find that some time on a drill team makes you into a better, more effective rider.
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equestrian_drill_team