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Musical Rides

A Musical Ride should be enjoyable for the riders and interesting for the spectators. Above all it should be fun.For a ride involving four mounts, the arena size should be reduced to about 2/3rds of a full size area.

Some work as a team of four, some work in pairs and some work singly in four parts of the arena is desirable. Remember you are performing to an audience who enjoy watching diverse movements involving changes of direction, changes of rein and 'collision course' movements (eg. four way crossovers).

A suggestion for some types of movements 'Click Here'. They are not compulsory by any means, but may assist you with ideas. The important thing to remember is to join one movement to another smoothly. A ride is restricted only by your imagination.
Whilst walking as a team shows obedience, it can be uninteresting to an audience. it you are going to include walking in your ride, perhaps do it as a 'coming together' movement or as a final gesture at the conclusion, remembering to thank your mount for a job done (well or otherwise).

Music is important. Whilst you may enjoy 'heavy metal' or alternative music, think of the audience. A definite beat and foot tapping music keeps your audience interested and keeps the horses together. Select music which suits the gait. Common or 4/4 time for trotting
and 3/4 time for cantering. Some modern music (eg. Tina Turner type) and some older (eg. William Tell Overture) is ideal. Think about the music as it can make or break your ride. Remember you are working at attracting an audience then keeping them interested.

It doesn't matter if your horses are different colours, nor does it matter if they are different sizes. Work around the slowest mount and put it on the inside of any movement and temper the gait of the bigger or longer striding mounts accordingly.
Work at keeping the ride flowing. Stop midstream and your audience will lose interest. When working apart, keep your eye on your partner and if necessary alter your stride to keep up or drop back, whichever is necessary. One member of the ride should be the 'boss ' and dictate speed etc. Cantering can be more eye catching, but it is easier to lose your dressing and become ragged, so be careful. A well presented ride of mainly trotting with good lines, dressing and distances is more pleasing to the eye than a ragged canter ride.
If your horse explodes or plays up - don't worry. If you do you'll only make him worse. Concentrate on relaxing and staying in your position. If you are supposed to be trotting and your horse decides he is more comfortable cantering, don't try and bring him back.
Just keep your distance, line and dressing right. He will settle in time. The practice ring  is the place for discipline, not in front of an audience.

Keep your ride simple. Don't ask for two track or rein back work if all the horses are not up to it. It shows. A simple ride (where everyone is relaxed) of a wide variety of movements and full use of the arena is far more enjoyable for everyone concerned.
You are showing the judge and the audience that your horses can work together or apart. The movements attached are only a small example of things you can easily do. The important thing is they flow and are joined. With cross throughs, the closer you are the better. With wheels, ride knee to knee. If you have a horse which may kick, keep it on the outside.
Above all show the judge, audience and yourselves that you are enjoying what you are doing. This is the fun part of the State Games.

Good Riding.

 

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