The Freestyle Olympic Equestrian

Did you know that this year will mark 100 years of Equestrian participation in the Olympic games and it will also be the debut of Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle to Music?

Want to try your hand at Freestyle to Music? Here are some tips from Freestyle Dressage Productions to help you get on your way. 

  • It must always be remembered that it is Dressage TO Music and not Dressage WITH Music. By this we mean that to the observer the music should fit the horse and the horses paces as well as the movement the horse performs. It should not just seem like someone is riding a dressage test with some music playing in the background. At the same time it is absolutely critical that the fundamental principles of dressage must always apply and be adhered to and the freestyle performance must never appear like a circus act.
  • It is important you make sure the size of the arena you practice in at home is correct as this is essential for your timings. If the arena you are working in needs to be smaller put poles around to make sure you are riding in the correct size arena.  It is usually 20 x 40 for riding club level classes and 20 X 60 for affiliated classes.  
  • You need to try and include as many movements as you are able in addition to the compulsory movements.  Choose ones you and your horse are good at.  Keep to a minimum those movements that are not your strongest, and do more of what you are good at. 
  • Choose music that suits your horse and not what you like necessarily. Heavy metal music does not suit a dainty fine horse, but it might fit a heavy weight type.  Usually when you ride your horse to the music, you and your friends can choose what suits the horse you are riding. if the beat of the music is not quite right we can alter it to fit the foot falls of your horse.
  • You will need to choose three types of music, one for walk, trot and canter.  You will usually need to choose different music with a different beat for each gait. An easy way to do this is to video walk, trot and canter of your horse and play music to the video when  you get home to help you choose the music you like.

Still the best Freestyle I've ever seen, and apparently a crowd favorite with over 10 million views on YouTube! 

The Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle to Music will be airing August 9th! Go team USA! 


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