- You must own your own horse or have consistent access to a horse and transportation to practices.
- Your horse has to be a minimum of 4 years old, able to complete the required tasks typical of any riding discipline – walk, trot, canter, hand gallop, back up, good stop, stand, side pass, half pass.
- Horse should have no vices – kicking biting etc.
- Horse has to have a willing attitude and not be fearful in many situations. Geldings are preferred, mares accepted but definitely no Stallions or Gaited horses.
- Your horse will be required to carry a flag – if you’ve never carried a flag, the Canadian Cowgirls highly recommends you wait for one of the team’s coaches to help you with this. It’s much easier to teach your horse to accept the flag than to fix a problem after it develops.
- You must be a team player, take direction and be prepared to go with the flow with both yourself and your horse because we use specific tack and training methods you will have to conform to.
- You will need the support of your family, because you will be spending a lot of time with your Drill Sisters.
- You must have personal integrity since you will become a role model.
The Canadian Cowgirls are a very disciplined group of hard working riders who all abide by a Code of Conduct which will be available to you should you wish to move up from our training team.
Usually girls on the team are 16 years of age and older but we have accepted a few girls that are a bit younger under certain circumstances.
Junior Drill Training Team
All prospective Cowgirls must train with our Junior Drill Training Team in Chatham Ontario (Home Arena, TJ Stables) for ten weeks, where all the maneuvers are learned. You will practice at a slower pace to condition yourself and your horse.
From there we start to teach the actual drill pattern then eventually incorporate flags. We don’t want to overload anyone. Practices for the junior team are once a week in Chatham, so if you have your own horse, it must also train to become a member of the team. There is a cost for the Junior team of $300 + GST for a 10 week training session. (Some riders or horses may need more than one 10 week training session.)
On occasion, Jr. Drill riders will be accepted as a volunteer to help out at Cowgirl events to see what goes on behind the scenes, ride in parades and see what type of commitment it takes to be a Cowgirl. Then if both horse and rider are suitable, an invitation to join the Canadian Cowgirls will be extended.
Moving on Up to the Travel Team
Once you apply and are accepted to become a member of the Travel Team of the Canadian Cowgirls, you will be presented with our Code of Conduct to read over and consider. Moving forward, you will be required to pay an initial one time fee of $1,500 for team equipment, uniforms and tack. From that point on, an annual membership fee of $500 is required to cover fixed costs such as insurances and trailer maintenance, and costume maintenance. These amounts may be obtained by corporate sponsorship that you solicit which the Cowgirls will assist you with. In most cases you will rarely incur any travel costs and the Cowgirls usually supply accommodations and food, except when we eat out along the way.
The Canadian Cowgirls are always looking for just the right new team player! We practice once per week in the off season (Feb., Mar., and April) and perform every week from May to October. You will be a valuable member of the team once you commit, so valuable in fact that if you miss a practice there is a fine of $25 for not attending.
What is your commitment? Because we have more team members than is required for our drill (usually 8 or 12 rider drill) you will be given a schedule and you can select the events you wish to ride at. Eg: our rodeo season usually has 12 weekends; you may be required to ride at 6 of those weekends. Christmas parade schedules may have 6 parades, you may be asked to select your favourite 3 to attend. General, you are required to pick 12 shows for the entire year but you’ll enjoy it so much you’ll want to do more!