Masters Dressage Freestyle Night--Drawing Inspiration From Music

Masters Dressage Freestyle Night--Drawing Inspiration From Music

The idea of the “perfect riding” music has been in my head since last Saturday night when I was fortunate enough to watch some of the best riders in the world compete in the
Masters Freestyle CDI*****. Eight riders competed, with no two rider’s
music even similar. How amazing and how fascinating. There were composed pieces, there was rock,
there was techno, there was classical, there were vocals, there were non-vocals
and they were all inspirational in one way or another. Finishing first was Anky van Grunsven with an
84.450 percent on Salinero. Finishing second was the American pair of Steffen
Peters and Ravel with a score of 81.70 percent. Third place was Isabell Werth
with Satchmo 78.950 percent. Inspirational
to say the least, watching the top three riders in the world dance to their
favorite music with their horsey partners.

ALL the music was fantastic, but you could really pick out the riders whose music actually MOVED them. It showed in their accuracy, it showed in their transitions, it showed
in their emotion, it showed in their risk taking, and it showed in their
horses. Those riders who had built a
relationship with their music never missed a beat, transition or opportunity to
draw the crowd into their performance.
Those riders with new music or music with too many components seemed to
be riding a pattern to music, not dancing with the music. At this level or any level, that is the difference between a breathtaking
performance and a very good performance.

Everyone has a particular fondness for one kind of music or another. Some people always listen to classical music and others find the need for energetic Latin salsa. Others love country music, while techno or
reggeton moves another group of folks.

The point to this observation is to note that if you and your horse really LOVE your music and it moves YOU, it will be obvious to everyone including judges and spectators.
It doesn’t matter whether or not your onlookers are educated in dressage
or freestyles, a passionate presentation by a rider who is moved by their music
will leave great impressions on everyone.


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Comment by Michael Matson on February 22, 2010 at 11:20pm
In my "Ride to Music" clinics, I sometimes have people tell me what music they like and want to ride to. I remind them it is their horse "dancing", not the rider. With the right music for the horse, the rider "disappears". And when I do find the right music for their horse's gaits, the rider always breaks into a BIG smile as they "feel" the music while riding. And then they say "I would never have thought of that music for my horse!" Even at the international levels, you see freestyles where you ask yourself "why did they pick that music - it does nothing for the horse." The answer usually is the rider liked the music or wanted to use a certain type of music - all without any thought of what worked for the horse.

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