View Full Version : Working with the lower level freestyle - creative ideas?

Jul. 14, 2011, 04:41 PM
I am bouncing around ideas in my head for a lower level (First) freestyle. I have the music in mind, already, though I'll be testing it out with my horse this weekend to see if she concurs.
I have watched a few YouTube videos of lower level freestyles, but there's only so many exciting things you can do at First. I have reviewed the USDF guidelines in terms of what is and isn't allowed.

I'd like to show off her canter - to me, that is her best gait. Her trot is rhythmical and we can lengthen and compress pretty easily in both gaits, though more so in the canter (as we're discovering in the mediums at Second).

I was at the Raleigh CDI watching the freestyle and LOVED the way Jim Koford started his - a halt to an extended canter, wow! I'd love to do what I can with the freestyle to make it creative.

Any suggestions? Creative ideas?

Jul. 14, 2011, 07:55 PM
Just a couple thoughts: you could do your 10 meter trot circles beginning on center line and then leg yield right out of them; you could also leg yield centerline to rail and then lengthen the trot immediately upon hitting the rail; separate the two parts of your walk work (may complicate the music a little); you could do your canter lengthening (or trot ) on some type of curved line. Your halts do not have to be at X; you do not have to go far past your halt (ie not all the way to C) before you can turn and do something.

Jul. 14, 2011, 08:06 PM
Make a list of what your horse does well, and what it is weak at, from the list of required and allowed movements. For example, does your horse counter canter well? If so, include some counter canter, if not, don't. Freestyles are great as you can create them to show off your strengths and set your weaker elements up to be shown to the best of your ability.