How to Stay Motivated and Inspired as you Create Your Dressage Musical Freestyle

Creating a musical freestyle takes time. You may begin the process all gung-ho and then find that your motivation lessens as time passes.

So far on your freestyle journey you have clarified your goals, decided on a course of actiongathered your resourcesfound your BPMs, and started the music search

Whenever I feel a lack of inspiration I spend some time doing the following:

Go to a Show

If you have the opportunity to attend a live event that will help spark your motivation. Even a local schooling show with one freestyle can motivate you. Watching a fellow rider in the ring, showing their finished freestyle is encouraging. 

Make plans to attend a big show if you live near high-profile showgrounds like Saugerties, NY or Tryon, NC. Are you making plans to attend the World Equestrian Games coming up this September (2018)? Regional and National Championship shows typically showcase the freestyles in the evening for the enjoyment of the audience. 

Watch YouTube

This is by far the quickest way to get motivated and spark some new ideas. I have saved individual Playlists for each level and would love your help to add more. If you have a video you would like me to add, please post the link in the comments below, email me at, or post your video in the Create a Dressage Musical Freestyle Facebook Group.

Training Level 

Many of you will be designing your very first freestyle at Training Level. There aren't that many movements to choose from, making it a creative challenge to work with less. Click here to begin watching the Playlist. If you would like to see my personal favorites with commentary click here.

First Level

Combining leg-yields and lengthened gaits makes this level a little more complicated, but fun at the same time. Click here to watch the Playlist. If you would like to see my personal favorites with commentary click here. This is the first level that counts towards the USDF Bronze Freestyle Bar.

Second Level

The canter simple changes at Second Level can be a challenge to match to the music but the lateral work can really look like the horse and rider are dancing together. Click here to watch the Playlist. Scores at Second Level count towards their USDF Bronze Freestyle Bar.

Third Level

This level starts to get more interesting for the audience with the addition of half pass and flying changes. Scores at this level count towards the USDF Bronze Freestyle Bar. Click here to watch the Playlist.


Fourth Level

Riders at Fourth Level have the opportunity to earn their USDF Silver Freestyle Bar. Since there are no musical freestyles at Prix St. Georges, all of your qualifying scores are at Fourth. Click here to watch the Playlist


Intermediare is a challenging level to choreograph but fun to watch! Riders at this level can earn scores towards their USDF Gold Freestyle Bar. Unlike the lower levels, the Intermediare Freestyle does not include the highest test of the level (Intermediare 2). The piaffe, passage, and one-tempis are saved for the Grand Prix. Click here to watch the Playlist.

Grand Prix

Even if you are riding a lower level freestyle you can gain a lot of ideas and inspiration from the Grand Prix riders. There are a lot of videos in this Playlist...Olympics, World Cup, etc. Be inspired by the best! Riders at Grand Prix can earn scores towards their USDF Gold Freestyle Bar. Click here to watch the Playlist.

Join a Community

Being a part of a group of like-minded riders is helpful to stay inspired and get encouragement.  If you have been taking part in the Seven Day Freestyle Challenge you have been sharing your freestyle "homework" with the awesome ladies in the Create Your Dressage Musical Freestyle Facebook Group

You can also join a few other Facebook groups called Musical Freestyle (Dressage Kur) and Musical Freestyle Dressage. If you find any other fun, positive groups online please let me know in the comments below or email me at

There are two online forums that you can ask questions and interact with other members on the topics of musical freestyle. These are the two that I recommend, the Chronicle of the Horse Forum and the Definitely Dressage Observation Lounge Forum.

Join the Seven Day Freestyle Challenge!

The purpose of this challenge is to help you overcome the biggest hurdle keeping you from the show arena...getting started! The challenge will help you gain momentum with small, daily action steps, inspiration, and encouragement to continue. You don't have to do this challenge in seven days, you can take as much time as you need. However, I do recommend that you go in order to follow the natural progression of your journey.  

Action Step for Today:

Go to the Create a Musical Freestyle Facebook Group and let us know how you stay inspired. Perhaps you will share a freestyle video that inspires you, a Facebook group or Online Forum you have joined, or an upcoming show you plan to attend. Enter "Challenge Day Seven" into the Search Bar to find the post for you to share and engage with others.

Awesome job! You are close to completing the Seven Day Freestyle Challenge!

Download My Free Resources

Stay organized with my Musical Freestyle Checklist and begin sketching choreography with my Blank Arena Diagram Page.

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Browse my Freestyle E-Book Store

Learn how to create a musical freestyle from start to finish or choose an e-Book with choreography ideas just for your level.
Click here to view all Freestyle e-Books.

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