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Get into Dressage to Music

Get into Dressage to Music

Get into Dressage to Music - Alanna Clarke and Van HalenIf one of your Year New’s Resolutions is to get into Dressage to Music, this blog is very timely!  Grab that mince pie and your mulled wine and settle down for some really useful hints and tips…

Alanna Clarke is a 16 year old British Dressage Youth rider, equestrian vlogger and equestrian blogger based in South Yorkshire. Alanna does regular monthly vlogs for PONY! Magazine readers and ad hoc info vlogs for British Dressage Northern Region and Trailblazers Championships.  Alanna competes in British Dressage with the handsome Van Halen II, a KWPN gelding and her bay mare, Katrina. After competing just a handful of times they were selected to represent their region at the U25 Sheepgate Championships, finishing on an individual and team podium!  Alanna and Van Halen have qualified for Winter Regionals at Novice and Pet Plan Area Festivals 2019 at Elementary Level.

As well as competing, Alanna spends a lot of time working in promotion with brands such as Equerry Feeds, Gatehouse Hats, Equiclass Boots and more.  Alanna hosts the very popular #HorseChatHour on Twitter at 8pm on Thursday evenings, which has nearly 20,000 followers.

Here Alanna shares some insight into riding dressage to music. Whether you’re new to dressage and fancy a dabble, or a seasoned dressage competitor who’s interested to get into dressage to music, here are some great pointers to help you get started.

 


Dancing to Music

by Alanna Clarke

Ever wonder how to get started in dressage to music? I took part in an Equivisions Dressage to Music clinic at Bishop Burton College and afterwards couldn’t wait to get out out competing! But if you can’t find a dressage to music clinic near you or you’re unable to get your horse there, it’s quite possible to devise your own music and floor plan at home. If you’re curious to get into dressage to music, it’s well worth having a go!

 

Attending a clinic

Get into Dressage to Music by Alanna Clarke

The night before I had spent ages getting my horse, Katrina, clean and shiny. I was so excited about the clinic. I’d already had an email asking me to tell them about which level we were competing at, which movements suited Katrina best and where she was weaker.  This was so that they could prepare a floor plan to suit us.  The email also asked me to think about what music I liked and thought would suit Katrina.

The day came and I wanted to look smart and comfortable so I wore my nice boots and my lovely pair of Tottie Maven knee grip breeches.  After a long drive we arrived at Bishop Burton College with time to spare, and made our way to the international arena.  It was quite daunting and poor Katrina, who barely copes with the judge at C, was forced to face five judge’s boxes as the arena was set up for a big para competition the next day. This was going to be fun!

First, Steph went through the test that she’d already planned for us, telling me where to go and different ways I could change it in the arena if it all goes wrong. I was completely lost of course, as we all know I can get lost in my own bedroom anyway but it was really interesting to talk through all the tips for avoiding a spook or making it less noticeable in the test by just knowing your music inside out and moving movements up or down the arena.

We just hacked through the test first, and this was when Katrina decided to throw some shapes, spooking at judges stands, markers, the gate, it was all a bit hectic really, she does make me laugh!

The second time we went through the test we were timed to see how long everything took for how long the music needed to be. This time Katrina improved massively, and her medium canter felt amazing.  We haven’t quite got the hang of the counter canter as she kept changing leg but it got to a point where it was simply funny!

Finally, it was time to video the test to match the actual movements within the test to the music. It was going really well, I’d done my best to de-spookify Katrina but just as we cantered past the entrance someone walked right into the arena! Of course Katrina didn’t hold with that! However like a trooper she carried on, completely bossing the more difficult parts.

The ridden part of the clinic over, we made Katrina comfortable with some hay and Chloe, our driver, kindly stayed with her while we went to the office which was set up to play the video and choose music to match. I’d already decided that I wanted something fun, I wanted to make people smile and enjoy it with me.  Lots of riders use classical, and I was worried pop would go out of fashion, so I chatted about my idea with Julie who really took it on board and added some really fabulous suggestions of her own. The beginning is epic, and it only got better with Julie’s ideas, leading to an equally awesome end!  

 

Making up your own music and floor plan

What you’ll need:

  • A video camera and/or someone to video you riding
  • A CD or MP3 player with speaker
  • A marked out dressage arena (jump poles or guttering pipes will do as boards)
  • If you wish to compete or display publicly you’ll also need a “music licence”, which is easy to get.

 

Choosing your music:

Get into Dressage to Music - Alanna Clarke - British Dressage and PPLFirstly, you need find music that fits not only your horse’s paces, but also him/her personally.

  • Big booming music won’t suit a fine, light-footed horse, and may even make it appear heavier in it’s movement.
  • Light, skippy music won’t suit a heavier cob with a workmanlike way of going.
  • Dressage judges don’t tend to like music with vocals as the general consensus is that it detracts from the overall performance/image of the horse. Your horse is the star of the performance, not P!nk, Take That or Michael Buble! 😉 Karaoke soundtracks can be a convenient way of finding more modern music without vocals.
  • You’ll need to assess if the rhythm of the music matches your horse’s rhythm at the intended pace. This is easiest to do by watching his/her hind leg footfalls – each footfall should land on the beat of the music.

If you wish to compete or perform in a display you will need a “music licence” to play your copied and edited music publicly. If you send your music away to a specialist company to edit into the finish product, a music licence should be included (always double check this), but it is easy to get your own music licence through British Dressage. What you’ll need:

  • At least a £30 British Dressage Club Membership (even if you’re not competing in an affiliated show).
  • Music that is registered with PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited). You can check that your tracks are registered with PPL by typing just the artist and track name into the PPL Repetoir Search Facility here.
  • The forms to complete and send to British Dressage to register your music. You can download these here.

 

Devising a floor plan:

If you wish to compete you can purchase a British Dressage test sheet for the level you wish to compete at, from Preliminary (walk, trot and canter) right up to Grand Prix! The test sheet will tell you all of the required moves for the test and how they are marked.

  • You can purchase individual dressage tests directly from BD here.
  • If you compete at dressage a lot you may find Dressage Diagrams useful – you can even create your Dressage to Music floor plans to print out as a test!
  • Setting up a video camera or getting a friend to film you riding required movements will help you work out a floor plan and set your music to it.

 

Editing your music:

  • You can send your music away to professional companies that will simply edit your music, or devise the whole routine for you too, but this can be costly depending on the company.
  • If you’re a dab hand on a computer you can edit your music yourself using apps like Garage Band on a MacBook or iPad, or an online editor like Soundation on a PC.
  • Your test sheet will tell you the time limits for your music. For example, you might have 20 seconds of entry music > pause for entry salute > 5-6 minutes from moving on from entry salute to final salute. The time allowed is different for each level of dressage as the tests require more movements.

 

Get into Dressage to Music by Alanna Clarke - Riding your routineRiding your routine:

Once you have your routine drafted out you need to ride it through plenty of times and work out where you are in the arena at distinctive bits of music (eg “I’m always right by B when the key changes/the chorus starts/the symbol sounds”). These audible markers throughout your routine will enable you to assess whether you are ahead or behind your music, and will not finish at the right point! If the dressage arena at the show is just 12″ wider or narrower than your arena at home your music will not ride the same, so you’ll need to shave a corner off or take a wider sweep on a non-required, unmarked movement to get you back in the right place at the right time! As with all things, practice makes perfect, and the more you do it the better you’ll get!

 

Top Tips!

Take two CD’s of your music to all your shows/displays, because if one fails you have another as back up. Give both to the show secretary so they have your spare to hand in the worst case scenario.

Don’t forget to collect both your music CDs from the show secretary before you go home! 🙂

 

I am buzzing with excitement about my music and hope its loads of fun. Sports are so much better if they don’t take themselves too seriously all the time!

 

Follow Alanna on Twitter here: @ACE_equestrian

Join #HorseChatHour on Twitter here: @HorseChatHour

Follow Alanna on Facebook here: @alannaclarkeequestrian

Follow #horseChatHour on Instagram here: @HorseChatHour

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   * Salary starting at £30,000K negotiable upwards plus accommodation depending on experience *Own horse and pets welcomed *Partner welcomed No 1 Experienced Show Jumping Competition Groom required for a vacancy with a very ambitious & competitive family. Good references ESSENTIAL & confidentiality assured. You should be currently working as a Competition Groom on a Show Jumping yard or have done so within the last 2 years. You should be willing to travel home and abroad and experienced driving a 26t+ lorries transporting horses to training and shows. 18 quality jumping horses on the main yard and homebred/ other young stock destined for a career in SJ/jumping all kept in top accommodation to the highest standards. Start date negotiable.   Please call Caroline & the Team on 0203 006 5730 or email Caroline @carolinecarterrecruitment.com      
Salary 8.5 Euros/negotiable dependent on experience with no food/accommodation or utilities to pay. You will need some experience grooming competition horses One of the Most Professional SJ yards in the world – Learn your trade with the best and secure your Grooming future with a hands on job. All you need is a passport and an adventurous spirit! Enthusiasm and dedication to work along side the best horses, riders and horse people.This opportunity would be GREAT FUN and a second to none experience which would guarantee your career anywhere you chose in the future both home and abroad. A rare insight into world class horses, world class facilities and a truly remarkable experience for any groom seriously interested in getting to the top of their game. Whilst there are considerable opportunities for advancement and promotion possibilities if you wish to remain in Germany. 🙂 Caroline’s comments 🙂 This is a commercial environment where the opportunity to learn is awesome but not for anyone who gets homesick or doesn’t feel comfortable in the commercial end of the horse world. The horses you will encounter are world class and it will certainly add to the breadth and depth of anyone’s experience. Fast paced and exciting in so many ways. A real ‘one off experience’ to add to the CV!    Please call Caroline on 0203 006 5730 or email info@carolinecarterrecruitment.com
* Negotiable depending on experience but very competitive*Shared accommodation on site(would consider live-out) Experienced stud hand required to work with the rest of the team. This would be during yearling prep initially and then general stud duties after the sales season and is a year-round position, not seasonal. A team approach to typical stud work with associated stud hours ie: sometimes quiet and other times round the clock eg: foaling season. Tractor/lorry driving is welcomed but not essential Mares and foals/young stock/ racehorses all kept and some sales prep required etc. TB experience essential and ideally gained on a thoroughbred stud. Please call Caroline and the Team on 0203 006 5730 or email caroline@carolinecarterrecruitment.com Please note call Caroline & the Team will be ‘screening’ suitable applicants between 9-2pm . Pls could call us during those times on 0203 006 573. Please make sure your job seeker profile is up to date and that you have a current CV attached. We look forward to speaking with you then about this super opportunity 🙂 C x
Job Description Jumping / Dealing stable We are looking for a jumping rider for our sales stable in the Lewitz. Your mainwork will be riding and a little stable work (feeding) together with your team. Showing young quality horses to our customers, under the saddle or in free jumping, is also one of your tasks.   If necessary you get help from our trainer and you gain a lot of experience in jumping. We offer regulated working hourses ( 8.00-17.00) and  the possibility to get breakfast and lunch at our farm. Our modern equipped accomodations we offer at a reduced rental price.   If you`re a cheerful and nice person, reliable and tidy, able to do a good flat work and you have experience in jumping, than we look forward to you! Minimum Requirements experience in  jumping young horses   Accommodation details You will be offered accommodation (single or double rooms) each equipped with a private shower, and in each house you find a washing machine and a dryer.There is free internet in the rooms. Rooms cost around 190 € per month, including electricity and water, breakfast and lunch around 156 € per month. Of cource, we will help you with all the administrative issues which come up at the beginning. Provide you with translating assistance during the doctor`s visits if necessary and help you with anything else that you need.   Benefits    
*Salary IRO 1800 euros *All accommodation and food provided *Seasonal position with far reaching CV improving benefits! This world class service station and stud is looking for experienced stud hands for the forthcoming season to be based in Muhlen, Germany. Some prior experience important as some serious unmatched warmblood breeding stock is involved in this operation names such as  Balou du Rouet, whose offspring’s prize money makes millions plus Sandro Hit plus stallions Fürstenball, Vivaldi, Bordeaux, Foundation, Vitalis, Sir Donnerhall I and Diarado were amongst the leading group of all German stallions according to the German FN’s 2016 predicted breeding value statistics. Last year stallions from Mühlen once again dominated the Oldenburg Elite Mare show and of the twelve mares presented, seven of them were daughters of this yard’s stallions, including the winner Candy OLD by Sir Donnerhall I. The list goes on and on and on! 🙂 🙂 Caroline’s comments 🙂 This is a commercial environment where the opportunity to learn is awesome but not for anyone who gets homesick or doesn’t feel comfortable in the commercial end of the horse world. The horses you will encounter are world class and it will certainly add to the breadth and depth of anyone’s experience. Fast paced and exciting in so many ways. A real ‘one off experience’ to add to the CV!    Please call Caroline on 0203 006 5730 or email info@carolinecarterrecruitment.com  
**14/7/20 Position under offer. Applications accepted for reserve list  CC *** *IRO £22,500K + accommodation *2 bed house with own garden *Dog, pets and horse welcomed *Partner welcomed     Senior position available at picturesque Hunt Kennels. Year-round position to manage the yard, Groom/Ride and to head a team of 2 other FT workers (in season). Previous Stud Groom did 4 seasons so this is a long term opportunity in a lovely environment with nice people to work with.   Opportunity for sole charge and to make the job what you want it to be (within certain parameters of course as the job is to manage a yard of hunt horses and all that goes with that but it doesn’t have to be a dull job 😉.)   Must have all usual skills, abilities and experience including good levels of turnout skills, ability to work well with others and a license to drive a 7.5t lorry.   Please call Caroline & the Team on 0203 006 5730 or email info@carolinecarterrecruitment.com
Job Description In 1992, Paul Schockemöhle, a successful businessman and former European Show Jumping Champion, purchased a large site in the expanses of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. On no less than 3,000 hectares of land in the heart of the protected landscape of the Lewitz, a centre for modern horse breeding which accommodates 4,000 horses and is unparalleled in Europe has emerged over the years. Around 250 employees look after the well-being of the horses, which are kept in spacious stables and in speciesappropriate herds in the expanses of the Lewitz. The riding stables entrusted with training the horses are three geographically separated farmsteads under a common organisational umbrella. At each of the individual sites, site managers look after the training of the horses with their teams. A jumping horse trained on the Lewitz stud runs through all three stations chronologically. The “Stern-Buchholz” site is outside the gates of the state capital Schwerin. The team headed by Birgit Brandsätter and Paulo Castro here is responsible for breaking in all the horses, as well as for the further training of the dressage horses and the preparation of the colts for licensing.   Accommodation details The stud’s own apartments, modern and practically furnished, give you affordable living space near your place of work and make it easier for you to form and strengthen social relationships even after you finish work. On request, you will be served breakfast and lunch in the stud’s own canteens.   Benefits Of course, we will help you with all the administrative issues which come up at the beginning, provide you with translating assistance during doctor’s visits if necessary and help you with anything else that you need. We will do everything to make your stay as pleasant as possible for you.  
**23/6/20 Under offer subject to reference checks*** *Salaries negotiable depending on experience IRO £23-£29K pa per person + accommodation. * 1 or 2 bedroom cottage with parking available *Pets welcomed *Own horse considered (but difficult as all boxes currently occupied) *5 day week. This family require a flexible, country-loving, reliable, self-sufficient and proactive couple with good communication skills ready to welcome all guests in a polite and friendly manner. Previous estate management experience essential for a combination of duties. Experienced and knowledgeable horse care also required as a family are not very experienced. There are two children are 10 and 8 years old and they purely ride for leisure, no competition whatsoever at this point but would like some escorted/lead hacks & informal tuition. Odd weekend off by prior arrangement in advance but as family visit most weekends,  they will not be regular occurrences so need to be prepared for weekdays off (2 consecutive days possible) : Outline Job descriptions: Housekeeping/House duties include but are not limited to Cleaning, washing and ironing, food shopping, household provisioning, household maintenance, overseeing contractors. Whenever somebody is in the house; be it, family or guests, the housekeeper will prepare lunch and dinner, (fresh healthy home cooking, lots of fish, vegetables, a variety of salads mainly based on European style dishes). The housekeeper is not required to serve the family however they will be required to clear away after meals and weather permitting some outdoor dining will need to be facilitated. Although the family like to entertain family and friends, most entertaining is informal. For any formal entertaining outside caterers will be available so communication, liaising and management of this will be a feature of the role. Grooming/outdoor duties include but are not limited to: Day to day management and maintenance of the property, yard and grounds which will include the gardens, greenhouse, vegetable garden, lawns and flower beds, (alongside contracted gardeners). Looking after chickens and rabbits & possibly other small animals/pets. Other duties will include general property maintenance, hence good DIY skills would be helpful. Management and maintenance of the estate car to fuel, clean and driving to the local station and airport for family and guests. The highest level of care to be provided for the family’s 4 horses 19-year-old 16HH owners horse who has recently developed allergies 17-year old small horses who need careful footcare and 2 x 10-year-old horses just short of 16HH and one has just recently had a bout of laminitis. Confident management and lightweight rider needed. All normal grooming duties will be required to a good standard ie: Feeding and watering, all aspects of yard work duties including; hay, muck out, turn out, groom, clip and bandage, recognising and acting on all animal ailments, cleaning the chicken coops/rabbit hutches etc. Keeping the yard, tack room and equipment immaculate at all times. Exercising the horses daily in menage or beautiful woodland which surrounds the property. Experience of trailer towing ideal. Light gardening, (FT gardener contracted) grounds, yard and property
*Accommodation available   *Competitive salary depending on experience  *Dog welcome *Great opportunity to get a foot in the door of the TB Stud World! This is a fantastic opportunity for a Groom who wishes to gain experience and enter the professional world of the thoroughbred Stud as a Stud Hand on this busy, medium sized, family stud. This operation is ambitious with a close knit professional and friendly team who we know well and who would all recommend. The role includes all normal yard duties, handling of mares, foals, young stock and horses out of training. Previous thoroughbred stud and sales preparation experience a bonus but not essential. Driving licence essential. 🙂 Caroline’s comments:) We have placed several staff with these employers over the years and had great feedback. A professional, well run establishment with a family feel. A great place to develop your career and be part of a small welcoming Team. Please call Caroline on 0203 006 5730 or email caroline@carolinecarterrecruitment.com

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Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd
The Stables
Fildyke Road
Meppershall
Bedfordshire
SG17 5LU

caroline@carolinecarterrecruitment.com
0203 006 5730 / 07747 686 118

Registered company number 10657796good site
Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd is registered with the UK Information Commissioner as a data controller with registered number ZA250621

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