So this week has been focus on freestyle week. I have been scouring music and think I have my choices narrowed down. I can’t let you guys in on the secret yet. I don’t want to take away from the uniqueness! I am rather proud of going out on the limb though. I really have fun listening to all new sorts of music doing freestyle research.
Jeremy was back in town for lessons. One tip I got was to never just ‘cruise’ around for two laps without changing anything in the horse’s body. Be productive. Show that you are making the horse work. Do not just do the movement to show that you can do it. Be smart about using a previous movement to move into the next one. For example, use a motion with bend like a volte left to prepare for a half-pass left.
So once you have music selected and your program mapped out; it is time to ride it till you have it down perfect. Then get out the video camera (no duck face) and video tap the ride from beginning to end. You need to then calculate the exact amount of time you need for each section of music. For example do you have 1.02 minutes of trot and then 87 seconds of walk etc.? Once you have the entire time sequence it is time to splice your music. This is when it helps to have musician friends. This year over spring break I am heading out to Hollywood to my mom’s music producer friend. He has a home studio and will splice the music together. If you don’t have a friend who has the equipment there are services online that will put the music together for you, and also programs you can purchase to do it yourself. Once you have it completed make sure you have digital copies on flash drives and LOTS of burned discs. Use a different disc for each show. You never know when you get a scratch.
One hint I have learned through Sjapoer’s big bolts in the freestyle at NAJYRC last year. Always know your music well enough so you know how much time you have if there is an error. If you mess up on your tempes, or the bolt puts you three quarters of the way down the diagonal and you are only supposed to be a quarter you have to be flexible enough to correct it on the fly. Have some ideas in mind of what you could throw in if you have an error. Last year when we got rather quickly across the arena I knew to get back on the trot music timing (which was now about ¼ of a minute away) I threw in a volte. This can not only get your music back on timing but also be used to recover from a bolt and get your horse back in the mindset and prepared for the next movement.
Finally, a non-freestyle tip I got today I had to share before I forgot. When working passage you cannot have the horse’s head too low because when his head is low it means he has to use his back In the movement. Your horse has to find the rhythm to get the passage. Putting their head down makes them take their legs up more and get more bouncy.
Hope this helps! I can’t wait to see everyone’s freestyles and have you get a look at mine! First show in May!