New Book Coming Soon! FREESTYLE - the Ultimate Guide to Riding, Training, and Competing to Music by Sandra Beaulieu

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Sandra has written a book for Horse & Rider Books (Trafalgar Publishers) sharing her knowledge related to musical freestyle. This book is meant for anyone that wants to ride to music for fun, for competition, and for exhibition. Sandra reviews how to choose freestyle music that suits your horse, determine your horse’s beats per minute (BPM), the basics of music editing, music copyright, costumes, props, and even showmanship tips. She reviews sample choreography for every dressage movement from Training Level to Fourth Level and for western dressage Basic to Level 4.

“In all my years of teaching, the comment I hear the most from riders is how much they want to ride a musical freestyle. And yet, year after year I hardly see any of them accomplish that goal. They get overwhelmed, discouraged, and stuck in the process. My goal with this book is to help lower that barrier to entry and get more riders into the show arena. Musical freestyle is the future of our sport and there are more opportunities to show and perform with growing disciplines like Western Dressage, the Baroque Equestrian Games, Working Equitation, and the International Liberty Horse Association competitions. I also have a large section devoted to exhibition freestyle because that is where I like to express my personality, and that of my horses as well.” -Sandra Beaulieu, author

Coming January 2020!

Sandra uses an app to DETERMINE the BPM’s for Mary-Jo Zanolli’s mare Bella. Photo Credit: Kimberly Chason

Sandra uses an app to DETERMINE the BPM’s for Mary-Jo Zanolli’s mare Bella. Photo Credit: Kimberly Chason

Sandra would like to thank all of the amazing riders who shared their freestyle experiences for this book:
Marsha Sapp, Anne Margaret Meyers, Frances Carbonnel, Mario Contreras, Luke Gingrich, Carolyn Rose, Carol Dover, Ashley Mancuso, Deanna Corby, Elisha Harvey, Nancy Conley, Rebecca Waite, Jean Thornton, Tik Maynard, Lindsey Partridge, Elizabeth James, Laura Hosmer, Nicole Johnson, Heather Webster, and Lena Witham.

A big thank you to all the riders that were photographed and/or contributed photos:

Alyssia Martin, Liz Burrows, Amy Jordan, Ashley Bizelli, Mary Jo-Zanolli, Guy McLean, Ashley Morgan Rhodes, Tia Tondreau, Morgan Cameron, Pam Catell, Ahura and Sinari Dilizza, Holly Bailey

And of course to all the equine photographers for contributing their work:

Kimberly Chason, Jesse Klein, Spotted Vision Photography, Karen Mancuso, Diana DeRosa, Bill Lee, Megan Stapley, Harry Furey, Winslow Photography, Rachael Young Farrah, Sinari Dilizza, White Hart Photography, Brian Donaghy, Kathleen Bryan, Shane Rux, Bernie Saunders, Boot Crowns, and Samantha Dawn.

Coming January 2020!

Sandra draws choreography for Amy Jordan on Ozzy. Join the Email list to get your free Arena Diagram Pages. Photo Credit: Kimberly Chason

Sandra draws choreography for Amy Jordan on Ozzy. Join the Email list to get your free Arena Diagram Pages. Photo Credit: Kimberly Chason

From the Horse & Rider Books Website:
”Music has long been part of esteemed equestrian traditions—consider the classical tones of the over-500-year-old Spanish Riding School and the Verdi purported to play at deafening volumes from the arena of Portuguese master Nuno Oliveira. Today we have sound systems that enable the most humdrum of riding lessons to become rhythmical dance rehearsals. And on the Olympic stage, the very best in international talent compete to discover which exquisitely choreographed performance is gold-medal-worthy. The musical “freestyle,” as it’s known, has become a form of equestrian display that draws large audiences in horse sports of every kind: dressage, Western dressage, and Cowboy Dressage; reining and liberty; breed classes and training competitions; drill teams and quadrilles. The use of music with horses is truly an art in itself—one that award-winning musical freestyle designer Sandra Beaulieu has perfected in her years of experience as a dressage competitor and professional entertainer. Here she provides everything readers need to know to enjoy freestyles of their own—whether for fun or for ribbons. Discover how to choose suitable music, explore choreography techniques, and learn basic music editing. Review required movements, then use Beaulieu’s expert suggestions for weaving them together. Plus, enjoy a section on preparing exhibition performances—complete with ideas for props and costumes. With plenty of advice for practice as well as putting on a crowd-pleasing show, readers are sure to find all they need to begin the dance of a lifetime.

Sandra Beaulieu & Friesian Douwe - "Outlander"-Inspired First Level Musical Freestyle

We dance for laughter,
we dance for tears,
we dance for madness,
we dance for fears,
we dance for hopes,
we dance for screams,
we are the dancers,
we create the dreams.

                  -Albert Einstein

After a long hiatus from the dressage competition arena, I decided it would be fun to work on my USDF Freestyle Bronze Bar with Douwe and Rovandio. To earn this award, the rider needs two freestyle scores (above 65%) at First level, two scores at Second level, and two scores at Third level from recognized shows. Douwe earned both of our First Level scores and Rovandio earned both of our Second Level scores in one weekend! I am so proud of them, they seemed to enjoy themselves and I did too! If you watch the TV series Outlander you will recognize the music, the tempo and drama of the music really go with Douwe's stride. Enjoy!

Are you inspired to start working on your First Level musical freestyle?

My "how-to" e-book will take you through the creation process of your very own freestyle. 

  • 10 Fully Choreographed Test Patterns! Just Add Music!
  • 37 pages of choreography!  
  • 7 Online Resources to help you find freestyle music.
  • Creative freestyle questionnaire to help get your creative juices flowing!
  • Freestyle checklist to help you stay on track.
  • Blank arena diagram pages for you to take notes and draw your own choreography.
  • Rules to remember, arena & sound requirements, copyright laws and more!

I also offer CUSTOM FREESTYLE design and FREESTYLE WORKSHOPS. Click here to learn more.