Drill Team Notes Arena The center of the long side of the ring is called the center line. The center of the short side of the ring is called the middle line. Diagonal line cross or individual cross is when each horse crosses the center of the ring from a corner. The comb or group cross is two lines of horses on opposite sides of the ring that move toward each other towards the center of the ring. The lines should meet at the center and pass each other (interlace). Riders When practicing, riders should first walk a pattern on foot. Then they should walk the pattern on horses. The pattern then can be practiced at tolt. When in a straight line, space your horse by looking at the rear feet of the horse in front of you through the ears of your horse or 1-1/2 horse lengths. When going into a corner with horses abreast, the outside horse should speed up a little and squeeze in. Inside horses should reduce speed to maintain alignment. The horses on the outside rail control the speed on turns. Riders on the inside should look at the person next to them towards the rail for speed and alignment on turns. When four or more horses are abreast, the middle two riders control the speed. When abreast, keep as close as possible to the next riders without crashing knees excessively. When there are two groups of riders, the group on the right controls the speed. The group on the left should look across the ring at the group on the right to check the correct alignment. When passing straight line to straight line, always pass left shoulder to left shoulder. When crossing in the center do not turn your horse to avoid the opposing horse. Control alignment between opposing horses by speed (fast or slow) and proper timing. If there are speed changes, transitions should be made gradually not abruptly. Line or abreast formations must go deep into the corners. A rider can only cut a corner to make up for long spacing. Teamwork If a rider makes a minor mistake, the following horse may follow the mistake to show symmetry such as cutting the corner. Riders are teammates and should coach each other constantly during rides. No one should engage in blame games. Do not argue with other riders. Do not take offense if a teammate alerts you to an upcoming turn, points out an error, etc. Riders should not use a long whip because it may hit other horses. Short crops may be used only if necessary. Riders should not elbow other horses or riders. Do not let your horse nip at other horses. Horsemanship Riders should sit up straight and look forward (not down at their horse). Do not have any bits, apparel, saddle or tack that can possibly hook into another horses’ tail or mane. Riders should properly groom their horses before and after the practice/demo. Riders should not wear white socks with black pants. During a practice/drill team demo, riders must evaluate their horse for soundness (both physical and mental attitude). The rider should be responsible for pulling out of the practice/demo if the horse will interfere with the safety or performance of the drill team. Drill teams should be fun. All riders should try to smile.