After seeing photos of the Teenage Rampage Trick Riders team performing at the Dowerin Field Days we were intrigued and wanted to find out more. The team’s manager, Mel Steele, kindly gave us some more insights into the group and how much work and dedication is involved in becoming a trick rider. If you’re at the Koorda Show this weekend be sure to catch up with Teenage Rampage and watch their performances. And if you would like Teenage Rampage to visit your club or event, then contact them through their Facebook Page.
How did you get established and how long have you been operating?
Emma- Jane Hicks was 11yrs old when she first saw trick riding and decided she wanted to be a trick rider. Her mother thought it was a passing fad due to the pretty costumes and sparkles the horses wore but after a year of nagging Emma was told she had better learn to canter first as she had never cantered on a horse before as she had only done lead-line at pony club and lessons were then sought including trips to Queensland to train with the trainer of the horses of the movie War Horse.
Teenage Rampage was formed in 2010 with the purchase of the perlino Quarter horse gelding Romeo. He was for the team’s founder and main trick rider, the then 12 yr old Emma-Jane Hicks. The team then grew to three more horses and other riders over the next 5 years. Romeo still performs with the team along with Oscar, Pop and Paintball, and we are training a new horse, Lily, who is very similar to Romeo only taller and she should be out performing next year.
How many members do you have and what is the age and gender breakdown?
We have 3 riders ranging from 17 to 21, all females and sometimes we have guest riders or give students an opportunity to perform at different events. Trick riding can be performed by both male and female, the only difference is the type of tricks the riders do.
Where are you based?
We have purchased 123 acres with the use of another 120 acres in Wyalkatchem WA as well as having a base in Goomalling and Mardella (near Serpentine).
What does training look like for members?
Every trick is trained from standstill until we get it to what we call trick speed which is our performance speed which is done at gallop. We never just run a trick at speed nor do we suggest people try it at home without the correct gear and training and a trained horse.
What is the most impressive trick the team can perform?
Probably the hardest and most impressive trick would be “backbend” where the rider is in a full gymnastics type backbend on the horse. Emma, our senior trick rider, is the only girl in WA that can perform the trick at speed and one of only two in all of Australia. It takes a very tolerant horse and a lot of riders break noses or wrists attempting the trick. She trained the trick slowly over a 5 year period before getting it up to speed. Another impressive one is called a tail stand where the rider is in a full headstand over the horse’s rump. Again it takes a very tolerant horse and a balanced and strong rider.
Where do you perform?
We perform all over WA at different events such as Ag Shows, Festivals, and even at Birthday Parties if we have the room to run the horses. Rodeos, Shows, Pony and Riding Clubs, Fairs – you name it and we’ll do it.
Can new people join the team?
Occasionally we will take on new riders if they show promise and the dedication to be able to do it on a performance level. It’s certainly not as easy as the girls make it look. However we do run clinics and private lessons for those who want to learn the art. We recently put together a team of students, all of whom were from Wheatbelt areas, to perform as part of a workshop that we did at the Dowerin Field Days. It gave them a chance to get out there in front of the public and show what they had learned over the previous three weeks of training. Riders’ ages ranged from 8 to 14 years.
How can the public get involved in your coaching sessions?
Visitors are always welcome to attend a training session. Just give us a call or message us to check when our next training session is. Regular updates about our training, girls and horse are given on our Facebook Page.
The action photos in this article were kindly supplied by Vickiphotos.