Dressage to music: how to get started

Dressage to music: how to get started

Edward Gal riding Moorland Totilas at Olympia

Madeleine Hill

22 March, 2012

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In freestyle to music at its best, horse and rider dance together in perfect harmony — think Blue Hors Matine and Andreas Helgstrand, or Totilas and Edward Gal.


First introduced to international competition at Goodwood in 1979 and then compulsory at the Olympics since 1996, the freestyle (or kur) was an instant hit. It’s now possible to contest freestyle to music from prelim upwards.


Getting started



  • Choose some music and design a floorplan


  • A simple internet search will bring up a number of websites that explain how to do dressage to music yourself — make several copies of your compilation


  • Try to choose music that suits your horse and marries up with footfalls


  • Consider following a theme: eg music from a certain composer or movie


  • Print out the music performance agreement from the BD website, complete and return to BD, which will then post you stickers to put on your CDs


  • For more detailed information on dressage to music, visit the BD website.



Freestyle to music dos and don’ts




  • Choose music that fits the tempo of the horse’s footfalls and that matches his personality.


  • Practise. Know your music really well, then you can adapt it to changing circumstances — you need room for manoeuvre.


  • Leave room for mistakes. If you go wrong you can make it up as you go along — the judge doesn’t know what you were planning.


  • Make your floorplan interesting but clear, so the judge can see what movements you are attempting. Draw it on a piece of paper to see if it looks balanced.


  • Label your CD clearly and have spares — you can borrow a bridle but not someone else’s music!


  • Look at BD’s guidelines for judging dressage to music on their website. They are notes for judges, but are very detailed and tell you exactly what judges are looking for.




  • Make your freestyle look like an existing test — it’s your chance to do it differently.


  • Use non-compulsory movements like rein-back that stop the flow of the pattern.


  • If things go wrong, don’t chase the music — cut corners or use a shorter route across the diagonal. 


Read the full feature on freestyle to music as well as an exclusive interview with Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud, and find out who the upcoming stars are in this week’s dressage special out today (22 March 2012)


About Tori Gable

Prior to Real Estate I held a position at Bank of America in Private Banking as a Senior Relationship Associate and Fiduciary Specialist. Due to my exposure with high-net worth individual and the experience of the procedures of Trust accounts I am now the 1st contact for many Private Client Service Managers and the sale of properties held in trust. In addition to my experience managing many trust accounts for Bank of America, I was responsible for managing an array of products for our clients including mortgages and money management. My wide base of knowledge provides me the ability to manage my client’s entire transaction and allows me to excel in my chosen profession of Real Estate. I began my Real Estate Career by partnering with one of the biggest brokers in Beverly Hills – June Scott http://junescott.com/. Her reputation, knowledge, and experience were unsurpassed. Our client base was the elite of Hollywood, many producers, celebrities, and business managers. I was with June at Coldwell Banker for the 1st year of my career, while honing my own skills I was able to learn from one of the best in the industry again adding to my ability to manage my client’s entire transaction. After working with June Scott I partnered up with Jade Mills as a buyers agent http://jademills.com/. Jade being another legendary broker in Beverly Hills gave me the edge I needed to gain wide exposure. This experience also gave me the exposure to the multi-million dollar Real Estate market, as our average listing was upwards of $4MM. The list of power house brokers I am associated with opens many doors in this business for me, in addition to gaining instant respect from not only new brokers but brokers that have been in the business for 20 or more years. This business is about relationships, not only with your client base but with your peer group. Earning the respect and recognition of my associates has allowed me to be extremely successful and provide top notch service to my clients. Currently I am with Prudential California Realty in the PacificDesignCenter. I have partnered with two agents that are in the top 3% off all Prudential agents nationwide. Collectively we have over 25 years of experience, are managing an average of 5-8 listings per month, and are working with numerous buyer clients. By joining forces we expanded our advertising budget and ability to handle all of our clients needs.
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One Response to Dressage to music: how to get started

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