Monday, April 27, 2009

Dressage Queen in the Pipeline

Jeddien's 2006 filly foal by DaVinci is already showing signs of being a future Dressage Queen. Oh my she is fun to watch playing in the pasture!

Like Jeddien at this age, the chestnut filly is sharp, energetic, and a cute mover.   UNLIKE Jeddien, she's a bit of a snuggle bunny who loves attention from people and other horses.   Like Jeddien, she can already open and close her stall door, and is happy to stomp on dogs, chickens, and turkeys that get within reach.   She is a keeper and destined to be a super dressage horse.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Freestyle Debut - The Movie

Mystic Valley Hunt Club
April 18, 2009
3rd Level Freestyle
Score: 70%

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Kur Debut & Musik zum Reiten

My first ever "Kur" aka "Musical Freestyle", has now been done. This past weekend, Jeddien and I performed a 3rd Level Freestyle at the Mystic Valley Hunt Club in Connecticut.

We rode to German folk music, using three different songs for walk, trot, and canter.   Using "Audacity", I edited the songs, modified the tempo, and put together 5 minutes of music to which I then choreographed a riding pattern.   In all, the effort to do this took many, many hours.   But in the end, it was well worth it!

We earned a full 70% score, with an "8" for the music and both written and verbal comments from the judge that she really liked the music.

I have to give Isabell Werth some of the credit on this great debut!   While I would love to report that I regularly train with Isabell and that she helped in this production, that's simply not the case.   However, she is the rider who provides the dressage world with the "Musik zum Reiten" series of music CDs.   High quality instrumental music selected, performed, and designed specifically for editing for use in freestyles.   My music originated from one of my "Isabell" CDs.

Ingredients used in the creation of our first Kur include:
  • Competition size arena
  • Metronome   (Little Seiko DM-50 clip on model)
  • iPod Shuffle   (So rider can listen to music)
  • Full sound system  (So horse can hear music)
  • Computer   (with CD burning capability)
  • Audacity   (Excellent music editing software)
  • Blank CDs
  • "Dressage Divas"   (Optional software to help design kur)
  • A lot of stress & creativity   :-)
  • One clever husband / partner / friend to help provide input
So, our debut is behind us and now we are getting ready for the next performance which is in a few weeks.   Until then, a big THANK YOU to Georg for all his help, and to Isabell, too!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


1.   Fearless daring; intrepidity.

2.   Bold or insolent heedlessness of restraints, as of those imposed by prudence, propriety, or convention.

3.   An act or instance of intrepidity or insolent heedlessness.

OR the name of a wonderful FREE Cross-Platform Sound Editor available at .

While Dressage Divas is the tool I am using to choreograph and "test" my Kur design via the software program's Virtual Dressage Horse, it is Audacity that I have found to be most useful for the detailed editing of my freestyle music.

With only 10 days to go   (Eeeeeck!)   I'm finally starting to feel Jeddien and I may pull off a good Kur after all.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sally Swift

Many equestrians are waking up to the news that Sally Swift, the wonderful woman who shared with the horse world the concept of Centered Riding, passed away yesterday, April 2nd, at an impressive age just 3 weeks shy of her 96th birthday.

I never had the opportunity to see Sally in person, but she's been a major influence on my riding since the 80's.   To this day, I still use her imagery when riding.   And in lessons with students, I apply and share many of the ideas I learned from Sally's book, "Centered Riding".

No amount of recognition & awards will ever match the contributions Sally Swift made to the equestrian world.   She will indeed be greatly missed.   However, through her books and students, she will continue to positively influence riding for a very long time to come.

My heart felt sympathy goes out to all who had the honor and pleasure of knowing Sally.

(The image above is a poster you can purchased at the Centered Riding Store.)