I've never ridden drill before...do I need previous experience?
No, we'll teach you everything you need to know! We start the year from the ground up so everyone is on the same page all year. We also host instructional clinics each term to teach basic drill skills, refine our drills, and push ourselves to be a close-knit, competitive team.
Do I need to own my own horse?
Not necessarily, but you do need to have use of an appropriate drill horse for the year. Many members own their horses, but we also accept horses individually leased to a rider. The team does not own any horses, so finding a suitable horse to ride is a potential member's main priority.
How often do you practice?
The team practices weekly on Tuesday nights during the academic year at the OSU Horse Center. Practices are two hours long in the evenings, usually starting at 6:00 pm.
How many competitions does the team travel to?
We travel to at least four shows per year, all in spring term. The three smaller shows are in Washington, and we travel to the Western States Drill Competition in Reno, Nevada at the end of spring term.
Do you offer any other riding opportunities?
We ride demonstrations at local rodeos and OHSET meets as "practice runs" for our competitions, to help recruite new members, and to raise community awareness of the team. We also participate in the OSU Homecoming Parade every year, along with the occasional casual trail or beach ride!
Do I have to have my own show clothes and tack?
No! The great thing about drill is that we want every rider to look identical, so the team owns matching uniforms for yourself and your horse. This means no spendy show shirts or expensive tack to buy. You only need to provide a basic uniform for competition: unembellished black riding jeans, black riding boots, and a black belt with clear or silver "bling" for yourself, and a brown western saddle, curb bit, and black overreach/bell boots for your horse. We provide matching shirts, earrings, hats, chaps, bridles, breastcollars, tiedowns, saddle pad covers, and sport boots.
How much are membership dues? Are they refundable if I decide drill isn't right for me?
Our dues are on the low side at about $75 per term. These dues help to pay for competition entry fees, clinicians, arena rental, and uniform maintenance. Dues must be paid by the third practice of the term, or you will be ineligible to ride until your dues are paid. If you decide drill isn't a good fit for you before the payment deadline and have already paid, your dues are refundable. After the due date, all dues are non-refundable.
How can your membership dues be so low?
We strive to reduce the financial burden of membership as much as possible. To acheive this, we fundraise heavily throughout the year though various fundraisers, a buckle series consisting of three playdays, and a poker ride.
Is my horse right for drill?
Any breed of horse is appropriate for drill, as long as they can perform all the tasks that you ask of them. Horses need to be ridden in a western-style saddle and a curb bit and be able to neck rein. Drill involves sharp turns, speed variation within gaits, gait transitions, lead changes, and halting. Drills can be up to 10 minutes long, so your horse must be able to lope for that duration. Drill requires close contact and trust between riders and horses, so any aggressive behavior (such as kicking or biting) must be swiftly corrected and will not tolerated for the safety of other horses and riders.