Music for Dressage
Whether you are looking for bespoke dressage freestyle music tailored for you and your horse or for information on choosing and riding to music for competition or just for fun,I hope this site gives you some ideas.
Horses have three basic paces, walk trot and canter. These paces are usually executed with the emphasis on economy and energy conservation. Horses can turn these basic paces into spectacular movements full of energy, drama and grace.
It is all to do with communication. Using these dramatic paces tells predators that the horse is a highly agile and powerful creature that should be avoided and they tell rivals that this horse is greater than them and should be admired.
Watching a horse display this magnificent power has a deep emotional effect on many of us and for centuries man has trained and ridden horses in a way that enhances this power and grace. This has developed into discipline known as dressage. A top rider on an advanced horse can make one think of a ballet dancer. This is how dressage to music probably evolved. Adding music to such a breathtaking spectacle makes a magic combination and makes riding an art form as much as a sport.
For the less advanced, music can help both horse and rider produce the movements that can touch us in an extraordinary way.
He pressed himself to the back of the box, eyes wild, and nostrils flaring.
I continued playing to my restless horse, working through snippets of tunes. It was as I launched into an Irish jig that his reaction dramatically changed. His ears came forward; breathing slowed. I focussed on the key note of the jig. He moved forward and soon had his nose on my violin, feeling the vibrations with his sensitive whiskers. I changed the note and he moved away. Each time I played “G” he moved forward again.
I then tried singing this note to gain his attention whenever I had to ride him past a “vicious” bin bag or “scary” shadow, and that too calmed him down.
Horses are pitch and tone sensitive and since this initial introduction, my experience over the years has proven that many horses have a preferred note or key. Some love the violin or the flute and others respond to more percussive sounds.
It became a natural progression therefore as a professional musician to begin producing music for horses in my own studio. I present the work required by clients on a CD format. These works can range from sounds that will relax your horse while resting, thru to a musical accompaniment arranged to fit the choreography of your dressage test.
Pictured above, right: Abi with her KWPN, Wubbo.
Listen to some samples of my music for dressage on Soundcloud