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  1. #1
    Sport horse
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Dressage to music

    The small one...well not so small 5ft 11 at 14! wants to compete at a local affiliated dressage to music comp.

    Its Novice 2002 test. Does anyone know the technical movements you have to use as the club schedule isnt out yet and BD posted the last test I ordered online after the competition! Not very helpful. The comp is on 3 October and we need to get the practice in as normally only do prelim and it seems dressage to music starts at novice.

    Also can you use just one piece of music or do you have to compose a set of 3 pieces to match each tempo. Small one has chosen her music which I feel would be fine for w, t, & c movements. A Scouting for Girls song seems to fit the bill plus its small ones fav pop group, which has ignited her enthusiasm.

    And just another question.... Small one is BD Pony Club member (Group 8). There is an affiliated comp the previous day and she is setting her sights on qualifying. I know that the PC membership allows her to compete affiliated and should she qualify I would need to upgrade to a full membership and register the Diva horse but does she still need a ticket to compete on the day (prelim class) as the Diva horse isnt registered as yet (didnt want to waste s doing so if she doesnt qualify).

    Thanks in advance from a numpty BD member mum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Home Counties

    Default Re: Dressage to music

    Not sure what you mean when you say Novice 2002 - have you missed the number out, or does it mean movements from any of the 2002 tests?

    We have only done DtoM at PC level, and they helpfully said that only movements up to Novice level could be used - so we chose a selection of simple and more intricate movements that we found in novice tests, obviously going for those that showed off our pony at his best - for us that meant G&R in, lots of canter, half circles to X, but minimum lengthening (he was a shetland x so that wasn't going to happen!).

    I used 3 pieces of different rhythmed music (I chose Elvis to stick to a theme, little one was too young to be embarrassed fortunately ) because you do get extra marks if the music is compatible with each pace. But to keep life simple I guess you could just use one piece. They don't like vocals as a rule, but you don't get shot at dawn for it (well not in PC, BD might be different )

    Big helpful hint - we worked out everything in our school, then did the test on grass. Pony was slower in school as the surface was deeper, on the grass he was constantly ahead of the music and finished sometime before the music - oh dear. So we reworked the whole thing and had a contingency plan for if she was ahead - extra circle included at C. This worked, and also top judge friend told her she could turn onto the centre line at any point along the long side, not just from B/E markers or A, so she learnt to recognise when music was ending and could do an emergency turn to centre line and halt at either X or G as judge doesn't know which one you were meant to finish at - worked a treat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Dressage to music

    Compulsory movements are;
    Medium walk (at least 20 metres), Free walk
    Working trot on both reins including a 15 metre circle
    Medium trot strides
    Working canter on both reins including a 20 metre circle
    Halt at start and finish.
    You can also include any movement that is in a standard novice test or prelim test.

    Time allowed is minimum of 4 mins, maximum of 5 mins but would suggest aiming for 4 mins 45 secs. Timed from move off from the first halt to final halt. You are allowed up to 20 second intro before entering the arena - could have 30 second intro but need to have the final 10 secs of it in the arena.

    Music should fit the individual paces, you will get some music which changes in phrasing enough to use it for both walk and canter (many horses have a similar beat per minute for walk and canter).
    I generally try and use music arranged by the same artist as the style then flows together better. I usually avoid vocals as they are difficult to cut without losing the flow of the music. So saying I did do a pairs one last year to disney music and a friend is now using it for her elementary horse quite successfully, although two of the pieces were used in their original form and only the walk was cut. Pop vocals generally don't work well unless there are non-vocal interludes which lend themselves to cuts.

    Music needs to be either PPL or non-PPL, you can't mix them.

    More info here

    ETA if it is BD it will be in a 60 x 20m arena.

  4. #4
    Old nag spookypony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Dressage to music

    You need three different speeds of music, although as Lgd said, the walk/canter tempi will often be the same. However, keep in mind that music that stylistically suits walk won't necessarily stylistically suit canter: for example, you may want music with a gentler orchestration and less percussion for walk, and something with, say, some trumpets and cymbals for canter.

    Pick music that is unified in some way, if at all possible. The biggest problem is when people mix widely-divergent styles of music. BIG TRAP: "classical" covers just about 1000 years of music history, with hundreds of national styles, ensemble types, genres...just because two pieces are both categorised as "classical" in i-tunes, does not mean they go together.

    Rant commences here:
    I saw a test last year in which the music was a random mix of Carl Orff, Wagner, Handel, Bach, and Pachelbel. Three baroque composers (baroque music often suits horses!), but presented in truly execrable recordings, some late Romantic opera, and a massive choral work that was far too big for the pony in question, just thrown in for kicks. The works had nothing whatsoever to do with each other in terms of theme or style, other than that they were probably all on some awful "100 Biggest Hits" collection, and had been cut together with---giant, mega-pet peeve!---absolutely no consideration for phrasing: the individual segments just, er, stopped mid-phrase, and then the next one would begin...I felt I was receiving a kick to the gut with each new segment!

    Caution: I tend to get ranty about DTM...I'm a music lecturer...

    You can have great fun cutting together your own music. I highly recommend the sound editing programme "Audacity", which is quite easy to use, and which will also allow you to adjust the tempo of individual excerpts a little bit, if you find that you need it just a bit faster or slower.

    You don't need to do all of each pace at once; thus, you could have some trot music, some canter music, some more trot music, some more canter music. Since the segments aren't going to be very long, you can often re-use them within the medley: that way, you can give your medley a large-scale structure that helps it hang together. Repetition and variation, together, build structure!

    Generally, I have an idea of what music I'd like, find where appropriate places are to make cuts (segments will vary in length from about 30 seconds to about 2 mins), put together a large-scale structure out of my music segments, and then choreograph to fit the music.
    You can be as detailed or as loose as you like in the choreography: my inner music-and-dance geek likes to make sure that the phrase structure of the music is reflected in the choreography; for example, by having a change of direction when there is a new phrase. Caution: this will probably go waaaaaay over the judge's head, and will not earn you extra points beyond your personal geeky satisfatction, unless the judge is musically literate.

    If you have any questions about specifics of how to make things work, feel free to PM! There's so much fun to be had in DTM!
    Member of the League of Unlikely Dressage Ponies, the 'Adults who ride Ponies' Clique,
    the Trakehner Fan Club, 'The Black Stallion' Fan Club, and a Sinister Barefoot Cult.

  5. #5
    Sport horse
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: Dressage to music

    Thanks for all your replies!

    Blimey Spookypony it all seems very complicate :-$

    I think what I need is a lovely kind soul to plan a test and supply the music lol

    Im having doubts about it all but will speak with Small One and she what she wants to do. Mind you, I have a feeling she will want to compete, as I havent seen her as enthusiastic for dressage for quite some time !


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