I can't believe there aren't any threads on the basics of freestyles - I've searched multiple keywords/phrases and didn't come up with much.
I am just beginning to think that I might like to do a third level freestyle - although the more I research it, the more I realize that I may *start* it soon, but not be ready to show it until next (2014) season. This idea came from the fact that I will show 3:3 this summer (I have not yet, and therefore haven't qualified), but fourth level seems so daunting.
There are threads on freestyle rules, but not on the actual steps to make one. Do most people pay for an advisor to help determine what music fits the horse/rider best? What about another person to decide what movements should go together and when? I would think that one's regular trainer can help, but people probably hire a "guru" for this stuff? Do you hire yet another, technical, person to put your songs together and put them on CD (or whatever current technology)?
What comes first?!?!
All that being said, is it naive to think about producing a nice freestyle without shelling out quite a large sum of cash???
I can't help with any of the questions, but I do know that clinics regarding creating freestyles are becoming more common. One of my trainers is doing a 3-part freestyle clinic... At the end of the series, you get a show-ready freestyle for your level. Maybe there is a similar clinic or event near you? Or, if you're close to PA, I can PM you info.
It's really not that hard if you want to do it yourself. I always have, from training though GP, and have been very successful.
In general, I first look for music. I don't do the beats per minute, but just start listening to music and watching my horse on video as I listen to find the "one" that I really like that enhances the horse. Sometimes it will be a bit slower or faster than the horse, actually helping make them look better. Once you find the main music you like, whatever gait, you want to find other music for the other two gaits that sort of match in theme, sound, instruments, etc. If you're VERY lucky, you'll find one piece of music that has enough variation to do all three gaits. Get walk music with the BEAT of the the walk--the most wasted music.
As you listen to the music, you should "hear" what the horse is doing. Where is the half pass? Extension? Change? You should be able to see the horse doing parts of it as you look.
You can use a program like Audacity, which is free, and usable enough I can do it, which says a lot. I am NOT good at technology. In general, about 2 minutes trot, 2 minutes canter, 30 seconds walk, 15-20 seconds intro.
I put something rough together and start riding with it, feeling what works and not, changing it and playing with it until you like it.
Read the directives for what to put in it. Note the higher you go in the levels, the higher the coefficient for things like difficulty and use of arena. Where are the most points? How can you feature the best of you horse, and gloss over weak areas? Show things equally on both sides. Be DIFFERENT in what you do and where you do it. Play with it.
If you can ride 3rd level, you should be able to do this.
Go here and download the November 2012 issue of the RMDS Centaur. See the bottom of page one for I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends: An RMDS Solid Seat Scholarship report -- lots of great advice there.
Music selection is the hardest part. You have to find music that "fits" your horse. The problem with most freestyles is people create a freestyle to music they like and it doesn't do anything for the horse. As we then watch the freestyle it looks like you are riding to background music and people start checking their text messages on their phones instead of getting goosebumps watching you.
You may want to visit my free resource web site www.equimusic.com for music selections. If you are in the Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Deleware, New Jersey area, I have my "Ride to Music" clinics where I find music for horses. I have also recently teamed up with an experienced freestyle rider who creates the choreography and edited freestyle after I find the music. We are doing two day clinics in the Maryland area where I find the music on the first day and she creates the freestyle on the second day. Cost is under $300 for lower level freestyles (Training - Second) and under $400 for upper level freestyles (Third -Fourth).
"No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier