Begin the Dance with Sandra Beaulieu - Designing Client Freestyles - 2011

I love to work on choreography and musical selection for dressage musical freestyles. It is challenging and gratifying to work with clients to find something that appeals to them while, at the same time, finding music to fit the horse's gaits and the overall "feel" they are trying to achieve in the freestyle. There are many elements to consider when choosing music, including the emotional quality. Does the rider want the freestyle to be fun and light or perhaps a bit more dramatic? I tend to use movie soundtracks, as they can evoke many different emotions from the audience. In the past I have ridden routines to music from Gettysburg, Moulin Rouge, King Arthur, Sleeping Beauty, Zorro, Man in the Iron Mask, and many others.

Currently, I am working with Athene (owner/head trainer at Connecticut Equestrian Center) and her Lusitano gelding on a First Level freestyle. She is looking for something recognizable and fun, preferably to music by Queen. We are looking for music to match her horse who has a quick, Spanish stride. Anne Margaret is a classic rock fan and would love to ride to songs from popular bands like Aerosmith, U2, and the Rolling Stones. She will be riding a Third Level freestyle. Anne Margaret's horse, Rubin, has a timid personality and lack of confidence in the show arena, so music that is too bold may cause him too much stress, so we have to be mindful of the horse's personality and quirks. Lastly, I am working on a First Level freestyle for my Friesian gelding, Douwe. I have picked out a few orchestral covers of Led Zeppelin songs. The songs are dramatic and seem to match Douwe's big Friesian stride.

This has been a sneak-peak into my thought-process while designing freestyles!

If you need inspiration for designing your own freestyle, please check out my Freestyle Resources: