It is 7am. The radio alarm wakes me with the world news. There are now 70 million people in the world who are refugees. Our government has declared a “climate emergency”. A strike by the US on Iran has been called off at the last minute; the planes were already in the air, the battle ships had been taking their positions.
WHAT? Every morning I feel that the world has spun overnight into some new state of turmoil or disruption. And what am I doing? Well……I am working on a freestyle to music. An Intermediare 1 freestyle for Biasini and me is one of my goals for the summer. What have I done so far?
- I told my coach Belinda Trussell and she thought it was a great idea and recommended Karen Robinson of Applause Dressage who has done freestyles for her. She told me that Karen will do the choreography and provide choices of music.
- I contacted Karen and sent her a video of Biasini and me in competition in Florida this past winter. When she had seen it she came back with a remarkably astute assessment of Biasini! She asked me several questions; what had been our best scores for movements in tests previously, how did I feel about taking on the challenge of something like tempi changes on broken lines? She also gave me the 10 questions she asks all riders she is creating a freestyle for.
- Once she had received my answers she put together the choreography for the freestyle test. There are required movements for the test and all of these must be included but the order and the pattern can be quite different from the regular tests. Karen had also included some options in case I found that some part of the choreography did not work well when I rode it. I went over the movements in my lessons with Belinda this past week and gave Karen our feedback.
- Karen then sent me 8 selections of music for the trot tour of the freestyle. I listened to them while watching video of me riding Biasini at the trot and also of Belinda riding him at the trot. The timing and rhythm of all 8 were perfect it was just a matter of deciding which style of music I liked best. I narrowed it down to two selections. The next thing was to find out if Biasini liked my choices.
- Yesterday in my lesson we played the music while I rode around doing some of the trot movements. The first selection was a lovely piece of electronic music. The second was big band jazz. When that one came on I heard Belinda say: “this is fun!” Biasini seemed to pick himself up and enjoy it too. The big band would be our trot music.
- Today we went to the outdoor arena which is the official size of 20×60 meters. I rode through the trot tour and Belinda took a video. I will send this video to Karen who will then sculpt the music to go with the moves of the trot tour.
- Next Karen will send me selections of music for the canter tour. And we will repeat the process .
That is what I have been doing this past week. I have been having a lot of fun! I think my coach Belinda Trussell has been enjoying it too. We are a world away from refugees, or threats of war. But am I like Nero fiddling while Rome burned? Am I freestyling while Rome burns? Truth be told there is nothing I can do about the decisions made by the US and Iran. There is little I can do for the refugees other than support the organizations I know who are working to help them.
So I will continue to ride, to work with Belinda and Karen on creating the freestyle, and to be grateful for all the blessings in my life.