A local riding drill team held its first demonstration earlier this month.
A local riding drill team is growing in popularity after holding its very first demonstration earlier this month.
Recently, the "Riders for Christ Mounted Drill Team" performed at a local horse show and auction to great reviews.
"They did awesome. It really went great," the team's instructor, B'Anna Allen said.
Since that show, other requests for the team's performance have been pouring in, and Allen said that a demonstration at the upcoming Leesville Lions Club Rodeo and the Vernon Parish Fair are being discussed.
"We don't have a lot of details or dates at this point, but it is something that is being considered for the team," she said.
The Christian-focused drill team was put together nearly six months ago after Allen needed a strategy to get her students to work together.
"The girls were coming in and climbing on their horses and just sitting there texting before class started," Allen explained. "The students weren't speaking to each other at all. I had never had a problem like that before."
So Allen's solution was to have the students perform routines together that required them to work together and communicate. From riding together in rhythm to performing jumps together.
The idea worked. "The kids opened up and became a team. It was a great blessing," Allen said. "Classes ended with them laughing and talking to each other as they put away the horses."
The routines that the team performs are set to music, and Allen said that the students have a great deal of input on their demonstrations.
"The students are the ones who decided to ride English style, and they are the ones who choose what songs they will perform to," she said.
Allen does have one rule though, for current and future students. "No cell phones," she stressed. "I have a basket that they can put them in at the beginning of class, and they can get them back afterward, but when they are here it's about riding and teamwork."
The riding classes and drill team are open to all ages, with current riders ranging in age from eight to 45, with a variety of riding experience from beginner to experienced. Also, prospective students are not required to have their own horses.
"We have horses here at the ranch that students can use if they don't have a horse of their own," she said.
Anyone who would like more information on riding at the Swany Creek Ranch or joining the drill team may contact the ranch at 238-1762.