The Islip Horsemen's Association Mounted Drill Team "The Spirit of Long Island" has been performing their precision drill throughout New York and New Jersey since 1978. Members of the drill team have changed over the years, but the enthusiasm and dedication to perfection has remained constant.
The team is currently being coached by Loretta Hall who continues with the team’s tradition of keeping the American spirit alive. The drill team is made up of riders of all disciplines, some of whom have been with the team for over 10 years. Over the years our horses have ranged in age from 4 years to an impressive 33 years old and included such breeds as quarter horse, thoroughbred, appaloosa, hanovarian cross, morgan, tennessee walking horse, paso fino, welsh pony, arabian, paint and many more. The riders and their horses maintain a high level of discipline, resilience and a strong determination to achieve excellence. Throughout the year the team performs at local fairs and horse shows, and participates in parades across Long Island. We have had the privilege of performing at both Belmont and Saratoga Race Tracks and each year on Labor Day we have the Honor of performing for the Veterans at the VA Hospital in Northport. From 2004 – 2006 we held the title of Northeastern Regional Drill Team Champions and in 2009 more than a few dreams were realized when we were invited to participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “The Spirit of Long Island” Mounted Drill Team enjoys showing that a little hard work and lots of fun can result in a performance that not only entertains but is also an excellent example of good horsemanship.
To entertain and demonstrate sportsmanship, horsemanship, team work and dedication.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” ― Phil Jackson
“The Spirit of Long Island” was formed in 1978 by IHA member, John Jorgensen who was a member of the New York City Mounted Police Unit.
Riding in a drill team improves both riding skills and connection to the horse. The patterns and music require riding your horse precisely and with control. Timing and synchronization are key elements. You must adjust your horse’s speed, make exact turns and ride accurate patterns to keep time with the music and other horses and riders. It is excellent training for the horse as well. He/she must listen for cues and respond to your requests immediately. In addition to improving horsemanship skills, working as a team member with a common goal for the whole team promotes cooperation and consideration. The focus is on unity rather than competition. Team members learn to support one another and help each other be successful in order to create a pleasing pattern. Riding in a drill team encourages good communication and compassion. Drill riding is one of the oldest forms of organized riding, and dates back to Cavalry soldiers who needed to coordinate with each other as they rode into battle.
If you are interested in becoming a member of The Spirit of Long Island or would like to learn more about us, please contact Loretta Hall at RettHall@aol.com.
*All dates are subject to change*
Weekly practice at The Bohemia Equestrian Center from 5:45PM - 7:15PM.
*Check back often as our scheduling is fluid due to Covid restrictions*
The Spirit of Long Island Flag Riders present the Flag at the IHA Horse Shows. See the individual disciplines for show dates.
Muttontown Horsemen's Association Festival of Horses at Muttontown Preserve
Floral Park Belmont Stakes Street Festival in Floral Park
Belmont Stakes Festival at Belmont Race Track
Hallockville Farm Museum Country Fair and Craft Show
VA Hospital at Northport
LIFair at Old Bethpage Restoration Village Confirmed Performance on Saturday Sept. 4, 2021 * Times Approx. 11:00 & 2:00
PumpkinFest at Suffolk County Farm
Fall On The Bay in Tanner Park