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 fortunately 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 which 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 does not 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.