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How Would You Like to See the Freestyle Develop?

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  • How Would You Like to See the Freestyle Develop?

    OK, Remember the rules, first. Play nice. While you may state your OPINION, let's stop with the I KNOW what's right because so and so told me and I'm "classical" and am doing it "right." Let's just discuss and share ideas.

    I LOVE freestyles and have been doing them a loooooong time, way before it was popular. I have a whole folder full of national championships, and would have all six medals except they didn't have the freestyle medals when I started, so I only have my gold freestyle medal. Yes, I have a clue. Mike, you do, too, so please add.

    What I want to see:
    --Music that inspires, excites, shakes it up, makes the horse look better and makes everyone look. (I'm SO tired of cut and paste music that stops and goes at certain marks, even though the transitions sound cooler these days.)
    --Rides should be TO the music, clearly, and enhance and interpret it, not have the music cut to a test.
    --Do away with the BS requirement that it's supposed to be with the beat of the horse (because it rarely ever is) and focus on the beat/music enhancing the horse's gaits (sometimes a bit slower, faster goes better.)
    --Actually HAVE a beat for movements that have very strong beats, like the walk and canter pirouette. (I've mentioned before the disgust I have for stupid, tinkly, slow music for pirouettes, and just slow, quiet la la music for walk. For instance, Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" would make great, strong, kick ass walk music for the right horse.)
    --The collective marks need to be accurate. Difficulty is a HUGE coefficient at GP, and you see way too many horses doing completely easy tests getting very high scores, obviously in difficulty, too. It's ridiculous an international GP horse is winning with only nine one tempis on a straight line. (There were some very nice examples of, and of not, difficulty at the WEG, though not always. At the World Cup in Vegas Warum Nicht won with this and pretty much no difficulty.)
    --Do something about the choice of music coefficient because it again seems a score that is used to give it to a favorite or not.

    Some things I have ideas about how to change, and some no clue as to how it would be done. Please share your ideas of what you want and possible solutions, to your ides and mine.

  • #2
    What I would like to see changed is that the different music for different movements used by these riders to all be relative to eachother. Alot of times the different pieces of music in one freestyle do not flow into eachother, or have anything in common. Makes it feel "pieced". Regardless of the tempo changes, I would like to see the pieces of music used have some thread in common, perhaps a noticeable one.


    • Original Poster

      Yep--I agree. That's what I mean by cut and paste. There is a requirement that it should have a common theme and flow, but it's ignored.


      • #4
        I'm tired so the only thing that comes to mind is no words/singing in the music. For some reason, I find it distracting.


        • #5
          I think it should showcase the horse, but also be entertaining. I've been doing freestyles too, and I watch them with a different eye now that I make/do them too.

          One of my requirements (for my freestyles)? Spectators must come away ENTERTAINED, feel like it was worth their time, and MUST MUST MUST be toe tapping/dancing/swaying in their seat!

          BTDT, I was HUGELY impressed by the WEG Fuego freestyle. It hit on all counts. Ditto Catherine Haddad's which I've only seen on video. I like the choreography of Totilas' (not hard, but it flows--I don't like to feel lost and I like symmetry. However, the beat of that music follows the horse's beat but does not engage the audience.

          BTW, I do my new (baby for my 6 year old) freestyle to a Michael Jackson medley. I've had one judge say the lyrics are distracting, but most say it fits my horse perfectly--one judge even told me it was entertaining. That's my goal.
          From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.


          • #6
            I'd like to see a smile on the riders faces DURING a test lol not just at the end.

            and completely agreed, more emphasis on getting music to match the horses gait/beat and ride accordingly

            makes a girls heart sing to see the footfalls match perfectly to the music! and DRAMATIC music for entertainment purposes, to (as stated) ENTERTAIN a crowd.

            Costumes would be fun too! Lets paint totilas to look like a leapord appy!!! how awesome would that be
            Carol and Princess Dewi



            • #7
              The riders should look like they're dancing with their horse, riding to dance music which is being interpreted using the legs of the horse as the rider's legs.
              Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
              Alfred A. Montapert


              • #8
                I would like to see horses moving to the music similar to how a top ballroom dancer does. There are moments in which there is a very distinct beat and they match it perfectly, and moments in which they move to the music with less defined beats, but still to the music. Great, rhythmic passage? This is the time to get music with a very obvious beat your horse matches... think Brentina and the crowd clapping along. Fantastic walk with a great rhythm? Same there. Too many routines either have the cut and paste quality mentioned above where horses' hoofbeats exactly match every step or the music seems to have no beat and without change works for most of the gaits.
                Originally posted by Silverbridge
                If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.


                • #9
                  I'd like to see Freestyles removed from judged competition. I'd like to see the GP and GPS be the only tests that are judged in any competition, and then to have the freestyle become simply exhibition rides by those who win the top placings. No judging. No set rules. THEN it would be fun to watch.
                  "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                  • #10
                    Why would the top riders in the World want to waste their time training for a freestyle exhibition? Too much goes into those rides for it not to be judged and medaled.

                    I was just watching some of the freestyles from the WEG, and I think the music should have a theme and stick to it. Victory Salute's music was very good at this. Fuego's music was just great.


                    • #11
                      Why wouldn't they? The requirements would be different. It would loosen it all up and make it much more fun.

                      The figure skaters do an exhibition when they've won. It's often much more fun than their judged pieces.

                      You'd do it in anticipation of winning a medal. I'm missing your reason for thinking they wouldn't want to do it.
                      "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                      • #12
                        If freestyle is here to stay, then freestyle should be exactly that. As with ice skating there should be the inclusion of certain movements, however, beyond that, the rider should be able to demonstrate any movement or combination of movements which will challenge the judges and the audience. Example: trot pirouette into a 360 spin, back to trot pirouette?
                        Ask and allow, do not demand and force.


                        • #13
                          Sometimes some riders look like they are doing the same ole movements and make it look more like a test than an exhibition. I wish they all would use some imagination and do something special in their rides.


                          • #14
                            I agree with a lot of what has been said. For many, the freestyle is done as a jumbled up test with either background music orr something obviously constructed for the horse and lacking audience appeal.

                            When it first was introduced, freestyles seemed a lot freer! I'm sure there were disputes over what was "too circus" and how to judge, but as a spectator, there were more that were enjoyable to watch.

                            Apparently at the WEG, freestyles are judged independently. I think it should work this way for the Olympics and all other competitions. Freestyles are a specialty. A horse and rider that can put out a great GP and GPS should earn a medal without having to hire music people, choreographers, etc.
                            Then the freestyle should be judged on its own and, as has been mentioned, the rules and judging criteria need to be re-examined. Contestants must be allowed to take more risks and the "dancing" analogy must be used without requiring artificial "footfall to beat". Yes, it needs to be dressage and technically correct, but for me, it is okay if the freestyle allows more non-test moves and really rewards the harmony between horse, rider and music as well as honoring innovation and increased difficulty.


                            • #15
                              i agree with the OP, but would like to see someone qualified to judge wheter something is "Artistic" or not. how the heck is a dressage judge qualified to know that?

                              maybe we need dance people to judge that part ?


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by spirithorse View Post
                                Example: trot pirouette into a 360 spin, back to trot pirouette?
                                HUH ? wtf ? no such hing as a trot pirouette, only piaffe, canter or walk pirouette , and western spins are not done in dressage.

                                good grief
                                So much of todays music seems canned, all creshendo and no melody, and in the effort to make every piece fit into a theme, some sound like the same song with just a different bpm. I would appreciate, within the theme, a change of music for each gait that is a bit different than the last piece.


                                • Original Poster

                                  They've actually tried doing different things to judge the freestyle, like when there are five judges, a few judge technical, a few judge artistic. It still doesn't really solve the problem of how to judge it, though.

                                  Hey, watching the jumping finals today, I have a GREAT idea! Wouldn't it be so COOL to have the top four riders ride each other's horses? Boy, THAT would be interesting. A correctly trained rider should able to get on a correctly trained horse and do a good job. SO many implications with that.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
                                    Hey, watching the jumping finals today, I have a GREAT idea! Wouldn't it be so COOL to have the top four riders ride each other's horses? Boy, THAT would be interesting. A correctly trained rider should able to get on a correctly trained horse and do a good job. SO many implications with that.
                                    That's not a new idea, that's an old idea. People used to have competitions like that for championships. It came down to some brutal and not so great riders messing up really well trained horses that were part of a true partnership. It's too risky for most riders.

                                    Maybe they could do that, but only give the awards to the horses. Hey, they're the real athletes in our sport anyway. If they can put up with some crappy riders, then they win. Put me on Toto now!
                                    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
                                      Hey, watching the jumping finals today, I have a GREAT idea! Wouldn't it be so COOL to have the top four riders ride each other's horses? Boy, THAT would be interesting. A correctly trained rider should able to get on a correctly trained horse and do a good job. SO many implications with that.
                                      They've done that quite a bit, although often the cases I know about were exhibitions with cash prizes donated to charity.

                                      Different riders of different disciplines rode one another's horses -- dressage riders on reiners, etc.

                                      But I believe there is also a class that some of my Pony Clubber friends have told me about were the competitors DID switch mounts.



                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                                        They've done that quite a bit, although often the cases I know about were exhibitions with cash prizes donated to charity.

                                        Different riders of different disciplines rode one another's horses -- dressage riders on reiners, etc.
                                        That's not what Beenthere was talking about. BT was talking about the top four riders switching horses and performing another test. This used to be done in the old days. It ended when people in the US realized that you needed to have a great partnership wtih the horse to have it perform at it's best, and messing with partnerships at the highest levels of our sport could be disasterous for the horses.

                                        Not to start another rampaging rollkur fire out here, but just imagine a rollkur rider getting on and trying to warm up a non-rollkur horse before going in the ring.
                                        "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"