Monday, April 16, 2012

Debbie Sams: Drill Team Costumes — Where to Find Them without Breaking the Piggy Bank

Magical drill team events are so much fun to put on. Amazing patterns ridden on horseback to music are lovely to watch, especially if the riders are wearing creative costumes. Drill team costumes can be obtained in a variety of ways that will fit any budget.

This creative costume cost Annika nothing. The pants and top
came from her own closet, the boots from her mom's closet,
and the wings — real turkey wings — were given to Annika
by a hunter. All Annika had to do was sew them together
and add some straps to tie them to herself.

The theme for your drill team can range from polo shirts with your team name embroidered on them to elaborate medieval costumes. The costumes can all match or they can all fit in the same genera and come in a variety of designs. For instance, all costumes could have a Western, English, Viking, Hawaiian, or Indian theme. You may wish to have the horses wear related costumes as well.

Drill team practice: these girls are wearing matching polo shirts
embroidered with their names and the farm name.

Once you have determined what sort of theme you want for your drill team, you can follow these steps to find the perfect costumes:
  1. First go through your closet and tack shed for possible costumes and accessories. These items will cost you nothing!
  2. Visit your friends’ and relatives’ closets, too.
  3. Next visit your local thrift shop and see what treasures you can discover. You will find great buys!
  4. For horse wear check out your local tack shop.
  5. Take what you have found so far and determine what else you will need. Maybe you could sew some fringe or glitter onto a slinky turtleneck or add a simple collar. How about adding a cape? Visit your local fabric store for things that you could add to your costume to make it awesome. You could also purchase some fabric to make the costume I laid out for you in my last blog.
  6. If you are buying new items such as polo shirts, see if you can find a business that will sponsor your drill team and pay for the shirts. Than shop around for the best price and quality. Be sure to give your sponsor plenty of press, and put their name on your outfits or maybe on your saddle pads. Have the announcer mention their name multiple times, and put an ad in your program for them free of charge.
Take a look at these thrift shop, garage sale, and out-of-the-closet costume ideas that we have used in the past. People love to dress up. It adds so much to an already amazing performance.

Kayla's colorful top and blue pants were thrift shop finds.

Recci, little prairie daisy — one of three
bridesmaids’ dresses that I bought at a garage sale.

Annika found this prairie dress outfit in her closet.
Wide skirts make wonderful costumes.

Debbie Sams teaches English and Western riding with an emphasis on dressage. At her Springer's Stables in Broadalbin, New York, she also teaches drill team and vaulting. Her farm gives pony parties and holds horse camps for scouts and local community college and elementary school youth programs, as well as for the Sacandaga Bible Conference and Retreat Center. Debbie has been teaching drama and drill team on horseback since 1979; in 1985 she became a Certified Horsemanship Association Instructor. She is the author of 101 Drill Team Exercises and has also put her horse knowledge to work in writing for such publications as Practical Horseman, Equus, and the Northeast Horseman’s Journal.

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