It is the end of February, and while the weather is still bitterly cold in Michigan, there are many signs that we will be enjoying warmer weather soon, but for now we may have to just settle for longer days.
I have been working on a freestyle this winter and have the choreography and music altogether. I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage those of you (even non-horseback riders) to use this period of the year when we are indoors more to take time to find music that moves you. For dressage riders, it may be music you want to turn into a freestyle or just enjoy listening to at the barn. For others, it may be music that makes you get up and dance or just music that brings back great memories.
I enjoy listening to instrumentals from soundtracks. There are a few composers, in particular, that have the ability to ignite my imagination and take me more into the present moment. They are, Rachel Portman, James Newton Howard, and Thomas Newman. The songs they compose for soundtracks are generally instrumentals, which make listening enjoyable when I am doing work on the computer or riding. When riding and listening to the radio station that has these compositions streaming, I am truly able to experience every stride in a way that is more fulfilling and harmonious.
I remember watching Edward Gal ride Lingh in the 2005 World Cup Freestyle in Las Vegas. That ride with the music created such a powerful expression between the two. While that was top sport, it is nevertheless a vivid example of what music and harmonious riding creates-an experience that moves people emotionally.
Music can enrich your life. For horseback riders, especially dressage riders, music can take the riding experience to another level. Even if your goals for this year don't include making a freestyle, I encourage you to find music that really moves you and then incorporate music into your riding.