Wednesday, October 21, 2015

GAIG USDF Region 5 Second Level Freestyle Champion!

Frisco and I have developed into a Freestyle team that gets noticed. It is a fun way to show off your horse's highlights. I have enjoyed learning the process of choosing and editing music, and, creating choreography. I have zero musical talent or knowledge, beyond a love for many kinds of music. Listening to music always makes me happy. I have had lots of help from clinics with Terri Gallo hosted at Cooper Ranch Las Vegas and sponsored by Las Vegas Chapter of the California Dressage Society, along with lots of telephone and email advice from Jan Lawrence of Millbrook Farms, who creates many freestyles of all levels. At the most recent Freestyle clinic, I mentioned to Terri that while I loved my canter music and it had special meaning to me(Soul Sister by Train), I didn't feel as though it had enough dynamics that would help give impact to each movement being performed. I was also at the time considering changing the trot music, which is The Piano Guys performance of a mashup of Beethoven's Fifth, and, Secrets by One Republic. The Piano Guys are a St. George, Utah group that I just love. They are so creative with the pieces of music they put together. Terri and Jan both agreed: do not change the trot music, it is perfect for Frisco. Most judges agreed, except when we were really off our music. Terri suggested that I try to find another piece by The Piano Guys that would suit for the canter. That was much earlier in the year, and, I couldn't find anything I loved, so I continued through summer with the first music I'd put together using the two pieces featuring OneRepublic, and, the piece featuring Soul Sister. Somehow, I overlooked The Piano Guys' version of Over the Rainbow. About a month ago, I decided to try again, because I wanted to go to Regional Championships with music I knew would highlight everything about Frisco. I was playing various pieces while watching video of Frisco canter, and when I played their version of Over the Rainbow, I burst into was PERFECT. That music says everything about Frisco that there is to be said. I downloaded it to my iPod, and rode to it the next day. There were so many shifts in the music that I could really just have creative license, to ride whatever figure worked at that time. That makes it so much easier, when riding your Freestyle, to catch up, or fix an error, or even if you just miss your mark to fudge it and find another mark to ride to. That was the beauty of the trot music that I'd experienced all along, but never had found in the canter music. Jan had a great suggestion, since editing is not something I have a lot of skill with yet, and that was to use the same music for walk and canter, because the dynamics of this piece easily allowed for that. It made for a really nice adjustment to my choreography, because I just never loved my walk and canter choreography, and frankly never rode it the same way from ride to ride. 
To make it all even more perfect, Frisco was bred, born, raised and trained right here in St. George, Utah, and, The Piano Guys are also from St. George, Utah. In fact one of our very dearest friends worked at The Piano Gallery for Paul Anderson for quite a few years. It is really fun to bring the title of GAIG USDF Region 5 Second Level Freestyle Champion home to St. George, on a horse from St. George, using music by a group from St. George. Judge Bill Warren said "Creative ride and interpretation was spot on." Obviously, I chose the right music. Here is a link to video of the ride:
I'm excited now to move on to Third level, try to earn the score needed to allow us to ride the Freestyle, and begin putting together Third level choreography to this music. 
In addition to being Region 5 Champion, Frisco is also the 2015 Westfalen Horse Association's USDF All Breeds Second Level Freestyle Champion, as well as the 2015 Las Vegas Chapter-California Dressage Society Second Level Freestyle Champion.

Linda and Cazador RHR on the left. They had a GREAT show together, earning a fourth and a fifth place her Training level classes. They've only been a team since April and Caz had only very little dressage training. They are a great team and Caz is a super influence on Frisky Boy. They are both the same age, but Caz is wise beyond his years.