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Freestyle question

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  • Freestyle question

    One of my goals this year is to do my first freestyle, at first level. I'm starting to brainstorm ideas for it, and have been looking over the test sheet and movements and rules. I know that they allow some additional movements per level, for example, turn on the forehand or canter serpentine at first level.

    My question... there's no place on the score sheet for any additional movements, so what do those do to your scores? Do they just push up the score for degree of difficulty if you add them in? For example, my horse can do a canter serpentine with simple changes pretty well and it's actually kind of helpful for our trot/canter transitions, so I was thinking of throwing it in, but what if something goes awry and he gets wiggly or something--would we get dinged points somewhere, or would they ignore it because it's not a required movement? Just trying to evaluate how useful those extra movements would be... I want to do a freestyle for the creative aspects, and think adding in some of that kind of stuff could be useful on the artistic front, but worry about making it too difficult and adding in chances to screw up.
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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  • #2
    Yes. Those things go in harmony, degree of difficulty, choreography, interpretation, and music.

    If it doesn't go well, the difficulty and harmony score could go down and a comment like "must be able to do movements correctly."

    Look at where the points are. Harmony has a coefficient of 3, choreography 4, difficulty 2, music 3, and interpretation 3. The least emphasis is on difficulty, so don't focus on that. Focus on what you do well so that all of the rest of the scores are high.

    Use his ability to do the canter with simple changes to enhance the artistic qualities and be able to show him off better. Don't put in things that are harder just to do them.

    So, for example, if he does simple changes well, then put in a few of them to the music in creative places so you can get all of those scores.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, don't take "risks." You need to be able to reliably execute everything you put in. You want to strategically choose a few "harder" elements or combinations of elements to get your difficulty score up, without choosing anything that could blow up on you and cause a mistake.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks! That's kind of what I was guessing, but there's so many factors...
        "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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        • #5
          Just make sure you follow the following for 1st level:

          Forbidden: Any movement or transition found only in tests above the level. Exceptions are listed under Additionally Allowed.
          Additionally Allowed: Turn on the forehand (no more than 180 degrees), lengthen trot and/or canter on a curved line, canter serpentine, counter-canter.

          Comment


          • #6
            You are technically not allowed to include a Simple Change of Lead in a First Level MF test anyway. It’s considered above the level unless it’s listed under the Additonally Allowed category.

            That’s a Second Level movement.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Silverbridge View Post
              You are technically not allowed to include a Simple Change of Lead in a First Level MF test anyway. It’s considered above the level unless it’s listed under the Additonally Allowed category.

              That’s a Second Level movement.
              I'm sorry, I should say change of lead through the trot. I still think of that as a simple change.
              "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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              • #8
                Ah! In that case, no, it isn’t a problem. And yes, if you execute them well, it improves your score. I would just make sure it flows well with the music.

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                • #9
                  In the First Level MFS, changes of lead through the trot in both directions are required movements, so they will be scored as such, even if part of a serpentine. But keep in mind that for choreography purposes, if you perform a serpentine, ideally you should do one in each direction for symmetry. Serpentines take a long time so you have to choreograph carefully in order to stay under the 5:00 time limit. If you do any required movement more than once, the judge will note a score for each time it is performed and use an average for the final score. Any movements which are not required but are a higher level of difficulty than the final test of the level will increase your level of difficulty score as long as they are performed well.

                  I think you you need to keep it simple. The rides that score well have clearly choreographed movements that make sense yet aren’t test-like. If you try to be too creative, it can be confusing to the judge, so keep their job in mind when designing your freestyle. I recommend watching high-scoring First Level freestyles on YouTube to see what good choreography looks like and to get ideas for movements that would work well for you and your horse. If you can, video yourself riding any creative ideas you have and see if it translates well from the view at C.
                  Last edited by Repertoire; Jan. 13, 2019, 08:39 PM.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Repertoire View Post
                    In the First Level MFS, changes of lead through the trot in both directions are required movements, so they will be scored as such, even if part of a serpentine. But keep in mind that for choreography purposes, if you perform a serpentine, ideally you should do one in each direction for symmetry. Serpentines take a long time so you have to choreograph carefully in order to stay under the 5:00 time limit. If you do any required movement more than once, the judge will note a score for each time it is performed and use an average for the final score. Any movements which are not required but are a higher level of difficulty than the final test of the level will increase your level of difficulty score as long as they are performed well.

                    I think you you need to keep it simple. The rides that score well have clearly choreographed movements that make sense yet aren’t test-like. If you try to be too creative, it can be confusing to the judge, so keep their job in mind when designing your freestyle. I recommend watching high-scoring First Level freestyles on YouTube to see what good choreography looks like and to get ideas for movements that would work well for you and your horse. If you can, video yourself riding any creative ideas you have and see if it translates well from the view at C.
                    That's very helpful, thanks!
                    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Repertoire View Post
                      In the First Level MFS, changes of lead through the trot in both directions are required movements, so they will be scored as such, even if part of a serpentine. But keep in mind that for choreography purposes, if you perform a serpentine, ideally you should do one in each direction for symmetry. .
                      No, I do not think there is a general expectation that a serpentine should be done in both directions. For a walk or trot serpentine, or a canter serpentine with changes of lead (through trot or walk or flying, depending on level), it really is NOT necessary to repeat the serpentine in each direction. You have a good amount of travel in each direction, and equivalent changes of bend (or lead) in each direction, and similar difficulty of bend in both directions. So one is sufficient, and artistically quite pleasing. In fact, repeating it could seem redundant and boring.


                      The time when you would need to do the serpentine in both directions is for a canter serpentine WITHOUT a change of lead. In that case, you are showing the counter canter in only one direction. Since you would need to show the counter canter somewhere else in the other direction, if you did not do a second serpentine, the other counter canter would be a very different geometry and difficulty from the first counter canter -- that would be a problem.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Repertoire View Post
                        In the First Level MFS, changes of lead through the trot in both directions are required movements, so they will be scored as such, even if part of a serpentine. But keep in mind that for choreography purposes, if you perform a serpentine, ideally you should do one in each direction for symmetry. Serpentines take a long time so you have to choreograph carefully in order to stay under the 5:00 time limit. If you do any required movement more than once, the judge will note a score for each time it is performed and use an average for the final score. Any movements which are not required but are a higher level of difficulty than the final test of the level will increase your level of difficulty score as long as they are performed well.

                        I think you you need to keep it simple. The rides that score well have clearly choreographed movements that make sense yet aren’t test-like. If you try to be too creative, it can be confusing to the judge, so keep their job in mind when designing your freestyle. I recommend watching high-scoring First Level freestyles on YouTube to see what good choreography looks like and to get ideas for movements that would work well for you and your horse. If you can, video yourself riding any creative ideas you have and see if it translates well from the view at C.
                        Agree that judges like to see symmetry going both directions but you don’t have to do a canyon serpentine both directions. You could do a single serpentine OR you could do a trot serpentine the other direction and work in some required movements (such as circles) into that serpentine. I did that over a decade ago and most of the judges liked the creative use of the arena.

                        There is no requirement you do mirror image each direction.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Keep it simple.

                          Make sure you include all of the movements at least once.

                          Symmetry is not an obligation. Your test must flow.
                          What the judge wants to see are clear movements.
                          If they can’t recognize one, it’s indeed easier for the judge to guess what it was if the movement is later performed on the other side at the exact same place.

                          Repeating some of the movements can be a good idea if you know you might mess up somewhere, but I suggest 1 or 2 repetition max.
                          I’ve seen a 3rd level ride where there was like +15 single flying changes... Like you need 1 score in both direction. They were all good, but it became boring after 5...

                          Try to avoid circling endlessly.
                          People do so many circles...
                          ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                          Originally posted by LauraKY
                          I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
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                          • #14
                            I agree about minimizing the circles and I also agree with those who said you do NOT need to commit to symmetry by riding a matching choreography in each direction.

                            I think too many people plan to be symmetrical. And, especially at the lower levels, it's a contributor to making the test seem too long to the judge and spectator. The First Level movements are pretty limited so variation in pattern from one hand to the other is actually more interesting in my opinion, and that of many who prepare Freestyles. My First Level one was not symmetrical and my current Third Level one isn't either.

                            One tip I'll add, based on my First Level experience is to use the quarter lines often. I got this directive back on my tests several times. Something that really sets a Freestyle apart from other tests and that will keep you from getting the "too testlike" comment, is staying off the rail. But, at First Level and, depending on your horse and your skill level, it can be much harder to perform than it is to say.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The most helpful thing I did when I started choreographing my freestyles was to print out a few score sheets and pretend to judge a few off youtube videos. You quickly realize how hard it is to walk the line between "not test-like" and "what was that???"

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by rjr View Post


                                The time when you would need to do the serpentine in both directions is for a canter serpentine WITHOUT a change of lead. In that case, you are showing the counter canter in only one direction. Since you would need to show the counter canter somewhere else in the other direction, if you did not do a second serpentine, the other counter canter would be a very different geometry and difficulty from the first counter canter -- that would be a problem.
                                You’re right. I had the counter canter serpentine on my brain when I was typing that.

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