Monday, June 12, 2017

Flailing to music

Since this is my season at First level and I will hopefully (please, please, please let this happen) get the score I need to do freestyle this week, I have to actually start working on having a freestyle.  This is a ridiculously daunting process if you've never done it before.

I originally planned to have it choreographed for me to pre-edited music, but that service isn't available anymore.  It's looking like $700 - $900 to get a custom top to bottom freestyle.  I can't really justify that expense considering how rarely I'll get to use it.  It's not like I'm campaigning a young stallion in Florida or something.  Only two shows in the area even offer freestyle classes.

In an effort to save some dough, I'm going to need to do my own choreography and then have music edited to match.  That looks to be more in the $250 - $300 range.  That I can justify.  So how the heck do I do that?

No, that is not part of my choreography.

I found an app to help me out and I'm now putting together some rough drafts of my potential choreography.  I'm trying to find the balance between interesting and more pressure than papi and I can handle. 

For those considering doing the same thing, the app is on the Google play store.  It's $11, so not free but way more inviting than trying to figure out all of the distances and times on paper.  I pop in the move, the gait, the start point, and the end point.  It fills in how long it will take and helps keep track of where I am in the ring.  It also has options for setting up your music.  You can play your choreography through and watch the little horse move around the arena to see how it flows.  It's got some bugs (sometimes the horse is going backwards and the pause button occasionally doesn't work), but I haven't found it frustrating.  You can set the speed of the gaits for your horse and have a good idea of how long your choreography will take and how much music you'll need for each segment.

It's on my phone, which I'm not terribly happy about, but on the plus side I can play with freestyle designs when bored at work.  I have three versions right now that I've completed.  I started last night.  I can't imagine how long that would take using paper and a pen.

Now that I've got some rough drafts that I think will work, I get to start trying to actually ride them.  Since that part is rather mandatory.  Some of my ideas are a bit . . . ambitious.  A leg yield zig zag, some counter canter, halt ten meters after lengthen trot, it might be a bit much.  But the only way I'll know is to start trying them out.

So, as my update, I have the following process:

1.  Gait tempo analysis
2.  Create choreography
3.  Test ride choreography
4.  Finalize choreography and video tape
5.  Select appropriate music
6.  Send video, choreography, and music selection to editor (and money)
7.  Have a freestyle

I'm currently on step two, about to start step three.  So I guess that's progress?  At least I get to start actually riding my future freestyle.


  1. That sounds like a super cool app! I have no plans to do a freestyle... ever... but if I do, I'll check it out.

  2. That app sounds super helpful!!! When I created my freestyles in the past I just carried my phone on me and would ride random movements and see how it worked. If I liked it I would type it in a note to save for later. Then I would time myself on each section and say "ok I need this much time for trot music". I edited my own music through Apple's Garage Band but it definitely took a lot of time to get everything done. Paying someone is definitely a lot easier and probably worth it since you're at a recognized show!!! My freestyles were for Pony Club Dressage Rally so I was only ever going to do it once. But I had soooooooo much fun creating my freestyles!!! Have a lot of fun and can't wait to see the final product!!!!