Men’s Drill Team: Cavalry Re-enactments! And… the California Cowgirls!

I think it is amusing that I have to check how to spell Cavalry every time.  Half the time I think to myself, “Is it cavalry or calvary?”  Do you do that?  Anyway, good thing for the Dictionary feature on my Mac!

OK, so I was emailed a movie of a Cavalry re-enactment team through FB today.  I watched it and I started to smile… Not only was it fun to watch, but I had to laugh at the similarity of Women’s Drill Team and this.   I mean, have you ever watched or participated in a Drill Team?  You have to stick together in lines and you change gaits and do several interesting maneuvers.  It is kinda like synchronized swimming except a lot easier.  And, this Gettysburg Cavalry video was the same!

Click image to watch this fun re-enactment!

Here is a link to the video or you can click on the photo.  I must say, the horses in this video look pretty fancy compared to the  Cavalry horses pictures in old photos.  And, lots of the leg positions on the guys were movable feasts… but I was just happy to see men riding!  They organized, bought all the tack, gear and outfits, rehearsed and got out there!  I guess my only criticism was the amount of training devices used as tack here.  I saw lots of open mouths and a few refusals.  Yikes.  (Bummer but I hope the riders of those particular horses don’tt just get a bigger bit or a more harsh shank in order to make the horse do it RIGHT.)

Cavalry Soldier... nice lookin' horse, eh? Morgan?

Anyway, I wonder how much time a long ago Cavalry rider had to train his mount?  As I typed that, I remembered that the men back in those times probably rode their horses every day.  That would help train them faster and more succinctly, maybe.   I wasn’t there but if I rode my horse to run all my errands as well as to train him, I’d get my training done while I was running my errands, if you know what I mean…

As an aside, the largest privately owned US Cavalry exhibit is in Arizona.  The famed sculptor, Dan Bates, has collected buildings worth of antiques from that era.  You can visit his museum, called the Museum of the Horse Soldier, at Trail Dust Town.  HORSE AND MAN (the TV series) interviewed him in his museum and it was very, very interesting.


Cavalry is different than drill team.  Yes, you are correct, the two are different because the men choose maneuvers that they think are manly and that depict what probably happened long ago during whatever they are re-creating.  The women choose maneuvers that they think are cool and that they can accomplish.  Sometimes the girls really push themselves (ala California Cowgirls) and other times, like my Drill Team, we keep it simple so we could get through it without any mess ups.

I’ve seen both Cavlary and Drill Teams carry flags, run forward, make sharp turns, move in groups, turn in that sundial maneuver, cross paths rapidly and fire guns.  Truthfully, I didn’t see much difference except that maybe the girls have more variation.

Basically, I’m thrilled that the men can have a drill team.  They can call it anything they like as long as they ride!


I really wish there were more men riders.

I guess we don’t see that many men because boys think the horse sports are sissy?  Dunno.  I mean, you see them in Rodeo and high level Jumping or Eventing and sometimes Dressage.  But, you don’t see them out on the trail or driving their trucks and trailers all over the country (as much as you see women…).

I wish that Moms sent their boys to Cowboy Camps during the summer.  I wish more men knew their way around a ranch.  I wish Moms sent their sons to play polo or learn jumping or whatever … so much better than video games and much more attractive in the long haul.  Even if they don’t come away loving it, they will come away with stories and a few war wounds.

But as I was writing this, I thought… hey wait a minute… You only see men on TV, pretty much…


Now, I’m no feminist.  I have always felt equal to men (thank you, Dad) so I have never felt the need to organize or protest or make any points.  But, I do find it interesting that the professionals in horsemanship are often men.  Granted, men are physically stronger than women.  So, maybe for Eventing a man might outlast a woman.  Dunno.  But I’m a little flumoxed on this one.

Click on image to view California Cowgirls Video #1

For example, you have the Rodeo guys, the Trainers (Parelli, Clinton Anderson, Monty Roberts, John Lyons, …) are mostly men and almost all of the movie Wranglers are men (even though many trick riders are women).  When you go to BLM holding facilities, the employees are mostly men.  Most ranches have men at the helm.  Livestock auctions employ mostly men and Race Track personnel are mostly men, polo players, jockeys, officials… you get my drift .  Hmmmmm.

What does this mean?  You’ve got far more woman riders than men, yet the men participate in most of the equine sports, head the businesses and set the protocols…  Odd.

How can there be statistically more women riders (a lot more) and yet they don’t run the show?

Hey girls, wassup with that?


OK, well, here is a video of a girls drill team.  I guess they aren’t just any drill team.  After all, they did entertain during the opening ceremonies at the World Equestrian Games…  But, I wanted to show you their workout.  It kinda puts a smile on my face.  These girls ROCK.

Click on image to see California Cowgirls Video #2 - the one with the calf...

I have two videos of them.  The first one (link here) is the official WE’RE ON OUR WAY TO THE WEG! video.  The second one (link here) is my favorite because it is a lesser viewed video and during their performance, a calf starts ripping through the arena!  Loved it!

I figure if these girls can devote all this time to be this good at this one thing, we gals could do anything – except maybe buck hay with one hand.  But then again, who wants to?  ;)


HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!