12 Top Questions You Need to ask Yourself Before Making a Musical Freestyle!

Goals: When you begin to start thinking about making a musical freestyle or Kur for you and your horse, you should have some clear goals in mind before you get started. You must be able to answer some questions.

1.What will this musical freestyle be used for?

2. What level will you be competing with this music?

3.What type of competition will you be competing in? ( Local or USDF or FEI or National or International?)

4. Have you ever competed with a musical Freestyle before?

5. Have you fulfilled you proficiency requirements for competing in the level you wish to?

6. Are you aware of the requirements for the freestyle you would like to prepare?

7. Are you aware of your horses strengths and weaknesses?

8, If you are an amateur, do you have a trainer who can help you make decisions and give you feedback on correct tempo for your horse?

9. What kind of horse do you ride?

10. Are there any outstanding characteristics about you or you horse that would help your selection of music?

11. Do you have any instincts or ideas about what kind of music will suite your partnership?

12.What age group do you fall in? (Jr. or Young Rider, Open or Vintage Cup?)



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Comment by Renee Miller on April 20, 2009 at 11:10pm
JUST STARTING OUT IN DRESSAGE WITH MY ARAB< I am very naturally drawn to the musical freestyles. what fun, and such a great creative outlet. I show on just a local level, but love the idea of presenting dressage (and arabs) to a community of people whom may have never entertained the idea that this partnership with our horses, is way more than just riding! I have shown in a couple of training level freestyles, and always wondered what it meant to "not ride like a test pattern." Your explanation posted above, was a real "ah - haaa!" moment to me. I had become so rigid in my (perfectionism) ideas about dressage, it never occurred to me that I was trying so hard to make the music fall into all the "appropriate" spots............ Cool! Can't wait to just listen to the music and have fun! Thanks for all you are doing to help everyone interest in this sport, be it grass roots to grand prix! What a blessing you are!!
Comment by Ruth Hogan Poulsen on January 14, 2009 at 6:48am
No proplem... keep me posted... Ruth
Comment by Shimmer E on January 13, 2009 at 1:28pm
Thanks Ruth! Those are great ideas, I will definitely be adding them into my Kur!
Comment by Ruth Hogan Poulsen on January 12, 2009 at 7:22pm
Basic concepts like always doing your half passes and lateral work toward the judge is a must... if he is great at half pass in the trot, then try a steeper angle like one from 4th level or PSG...do some extensions from the corner letter to C or A, not the ordinary diagonal to diagonal... try an extension on a broken line...in canter, how about a 5 loop serpentine, with first and last loop with simple changes, and the center loops in counter canter? Maybe this will give you a start!! let me know if you want more!! Ruth
Comment by Shimmer E on January 12, 2009 at 3:04pm
Preparing my gelding for his 3rd level freestyle in EC recognized competitions (Canada's equivelent to USDF). Do you have any tips for choreography, maybe something more risky, to try? He's pretty strong and well balanced. I couldn't say what his weaknesses are, or strengths in one area more than others. He's a pretty well-rounded guy. Thanks for your thoughts!!
Amanda
Comment by Ruth Hogan Poulsen on December 30, 2008 at 5:41pm
Here is my advice concerning vocals in freestyles... as long as the vocals don't distract from the ride, its ok... for example... if the voice is used as an insturment and its ahhhhsss and mmmmmmssss it ok... if its a pop song where the music would not stand on its own without the vocals, its not that recommended. I personally have used some vocals in freestyles from first level to GP... but TASTEFUL!! For example... I did a freestyle to Mo town... lots of Marvin gay... put his voice in the BACKGROUND... and who didn't like it!! The judges loved it... I would not use vocals from lets say Fergalishish.... just not suitable...

However... if you are just riding for yourself, and not competing, go for whatever kind of music you love and helps your horse... let me know if this helps... Ruth

Oh.... second question. The challenge to choreographing any freestyle is to show you horses strengths and hide his weaknesses, while not riding a TEST LIKE PATTERN!! Meaning, dont always ride on the rail, don't make all you transitions at a letter, make them with the music, be creative and use the whole arena... I did a first level freestyle on my young mare that was a blast!! it can be done!!! Let me know if you want some ideas!! Ruth
Comment by Dorothy McDonall on December 30, 2008 at 11:43am
Hey! That 's really handy information. My dream is to do freestyle with Bear. He's a bit of a comedian, so selecting the music should be fun. I'm also wondering about vocals in a freestyle music. Is it too distracting? D :-)
Comment by Susan on December 30, 2008 at 8:35am
Thanks for these FANTASTIC tips! What do you think about vocals in a freestyle? Also, at the basic level, are there any "cliche" patterns to avoid? How do you keep it interesting when there are so few movements involved?

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