Carol Lavell Gifted Recipient: Scnobia Stewart (Region 1)
To utilize classical dressage methods to create a harmonious musical freestyle with the assistance of my trainer as well as an experienced choreographer and musician.
- Schedule six consecutive lessons with Ali Perkins. These lessons will include the collaboration of "Three Wishes Freestyles" and Taylor Stewart (Musician).
Day 1 - All parties meet to discuss the logistics and practical details of how the musical freestyle will be created. This will likely be done with some parties in person while others are virtual. Following this meeting, I will start to ride some movements to see what fits well with various tunes. After the riding is complete, I will compile a list of compatible tunes and movements.
Day 2 - We will continue to practice movements to the selected tunes and make a final decision on what tunes will incorporate specific prescribed movements of the test. After the riding session, I will write out a full musical freestyle pattern with the assistance of my trainer.
Day 3 - I will practice the full musical freestyle pattern and make revisions as needed. I will solicit critique from all parties involved (trainer, choreographer, and musician).
Day 4 - I will practice the full musical freestyle with the incorporated revisions. I will be focusing on refining my aids to make the movements crisp and ensure that they flow with the music.
Day 5 - I will replicate the previous day's training plan.
Day 6 - I will use this day as a mock show. I will warm up in another arena without music as I would at a show. Then I will perform the musical freestyle. I would plan to have some spectators there for this so that I can get even more feedback.
· Created a Second Level pattern within USDF guidelines.
· Listened to a wide variety of songs alongside video footage of my horse's gaits
· Listened to a wide variety of songs while riding in order to determine which songs were well suited with my horse's gaits.
· Taylor Stewart (musician) was not available for the training week due to unforeseen work obligations. Therefore, Collier Wimmer with Three Wishes Freestyles created the music and synchronization with the choreography.
· The process took longer than 1 week to complete. I did not anticipate that we would have multiple choreography drafts as well as multiple music track drafts.
· My horse required two days off following the first day of training due to injuring his coronary band while traveling on the trailer.
· Here is the final selection of music
1. September - Earth, Wind, and Fire
2. Candy - Cameo
3. Just Got Paid - Johnny Kemp
4. I Got You - James Brown
5. It's Your Thing - Isley Brothers
6. If It Isn't Love - New Edition
7. Juicy - Mtume
Ride through the Second Level pattern to get a feel for the movements and areas for revisions as well as video a rough draft
We warmed up as usual. Zima was a bit high-strung because we have not trailered anywhere in a while. Following the warm-up, I started to ride through the pattern that I had created prior to the lesson. I realized that a lot of the transitions and movements did not really flow well. We ran through it once and then the second time we rode through and did some trial and error adjustments to the pattern. At the end of the lesson, we still did not have a pattern that both Ali and I were satisfied with. We made plans to work on revising the pattern before our next lesson. It was a lot easier to do it this way because we could sit down and look at a dressage arena on paper.
We will continue to practice movements to the aforementioned selected tunes and make a final decision on what tunes will incorporate specific prescribed movements of the test. After the riding session, I will write out a full musical freestyle pattern with the assistance of my trainer.
We did not make any final tune selection during this lesson as originally anticipated. We worked on trying to finalize the pattern. Most of the revisions were changing the locations of transitions. We also filmed the most recent pattern to send to Collier Wimmer for her to work on the musical choreography.
I will practice the full musical freestyle pattern and make revisions as needed. I will solicit critique from all parties involved (trainer, choreographer, and musician).
We did indeed work on the full freestyle. However, we thought that we had a final pattern but it was exceeding the five-minute limit (over by 30 seconds) so we had to make a few more revisions. These were relatively simple (shortening the duration of certain movements by placing transitions at different spots). We re-filmed the pattern and sent it to Collier once again.
I will practice the full musical freestyle with the incorporated revisions. I will be focusing on refining my aids to make the movements crisp and ensure that they flow with the music.
We practiced the most recent pattern that we finalized yesterday after having to shorten the prior one a little bit. This time it went a lot smoother. We ran through it twice without the music. We are still waiting on another music track draft but that is fine because it gives us more time to fine-tune the pattern itself.
I will replicate the previous day's training plan.
We ended up replicating the training from yesterday. Today we focused on the movements in the pattern that were most challenging (simple changes, and the counter canter). Towards the end of the lesson we ran through the pattern and it seemed to have a much better flow to it since we worked some of the kinks out with the simple changes and counter canter. We still did not have the music track draft back but hopefully, I will receive it tonight in order to practice with it tomorrow.
I will use this day as a mock show. I will warm up in another arena without music as I would at a show. Then I will perform the musical freestyle. I would plan to have some spectators there for this so that I can get even more feedback.
We met the original plan for the final day. I did a mock "run-through" with the music track draft. Overall it went well but I struggled with the learning curve of riding freestyle as opposed to a regular dressage test. The biggest difference I noticed is that you have to time your movements with the music and not necessarily at a particular letter of a spot in the arena. I will need to focus on the timing of the movements in upcoming lessons.
· I developed a wealth of knowledge after this week of training. I became knowledgeable of the process of creating a musical freestyle. It required a lot more steps than I initially thought. However, it was very beneficial to my overall theoretical knowledge base of dressage. I became much more cognizant and acquainted with the dimensions of a dressage arena. This is because I had to calculate the duration of each movement in order to coordinate it with the compulsory requirements as well as the music.
· In addition, I sharpened up my riding aids to make them more clear and concise. This was imperative in order to synchronize the movements with the music.
· Last but certainly not least, I had a lot of fun. A large portion of the training period was trial and error. However, it was very enjoyable to work through these kinks as a team effort with my horse, trainer, and choreographer/music producer.
- 5/22/2021: Fundraiser Event at Joyride Equestrian Center: performing my freestyle routine for a youth equestrian program at their fundraiser event. A local Girl Scout troop that is interested in horses will be in attendance as well.
- 5/26/2021: Dressage at the Oaks Schooling Show - Hillsborough, NC
- 6/5/2021: Capital Classic Dressage Show - Raleigh, NC
This is the first demo from Collier Wimmer of Three Wishes Freestyles. She used an old riding video and added the music as an overlay. This is a very rough cut because nothing has been synchronized. This video offered theme options. I selected the R&B option.
These videos are a couple of rough cut drafts testing out music and choreography.