Music for Dressage – Tips for Choosing and Riding to Music
When choosing music try to avoid very repetitive tunes as it is easy to lose track of where you are…”Is this the bit that means I should be striding down the center line for my final halt?”…Is not a good thought to be having in competition?
Finished music does not change, but horses do. The tempo and length of a horse’s stride will change as it progresses through its training, but it can also change from day to day. If your horse is feeling lively each stride might be an inch longer, which might not sound much, but it is enough to get you to your transition at C before the music.
International dressage rider, Lucinda McAlpine offers the following advice.
“Ride it, ride it, ride it! There is no substitute for practice when it comes to riding to music. You need to know your music and your test inside out. This way you will be able to make the adjustments necessary to stay with your music. If you realize you are ahead of the music, firstly DON’T PANIC, just ride an extra deep corner to get yourself back on track.
To save wear and tear on your horse, watch a video of yourself riding to the music so you know where you should be for every beat of music.”
Riders need to be aware that different surfaces can alter their horses’ tempo. Deep, damp sand is going to slow a horses pace whereas springy rubber is going to quicken them. They could either have several versions of their test made, which I do as a matter of course when producing music so they can gauge which tempo is going to be right for a venue, or simply be aware that horses vary in their way of going, but cds do not!