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Photo courtesy of Olivia Lagoy-Weltz.

The author on her Grand Prix mount Rassing’s Lonoir (“Lono”).

Step 6: The Final, Final Phase

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of small tweaks, slight changes, and sometimes

Horses go differently at shows then they do at

even partial revamps. Again, this is why having an

home. Until you start showing with the freestyle,

excellent professional choreographer to work with

you really won’t know exactly how it will ride. Many

is important, because they will continue to work

times there are more small adjustments to make

with you through all the evolutions of the freestyle.

after the first few goes. Once you smooth out those

Developing a top international Grand Prix

edges, I suppose you could call it “done,” but every

Freestyle is an involved process. It can be lots of

show is different, every ride is a little different, and

fun, but it can be very tedious as well. Having said

every day can be a bit different.

that, nothing beats the thrill of pulling off a brilliant

Freestyles are often evolving things. Horses

ride under the lights to amazing music. Dressage

change and mature. You may love a move in

is a very controlled sport where the personality of

practice and then discover that, under the lights

the horse and rider are carefully managed, and as

at night, it doesn’t ride as well. The choreography

a spectator you are given a withering look if you

can evolve over time, particularly if you designed

so much as sneeze in the stands. Freestyles are our

the freestyle for a young grand prix horse. A horse’s

sport’s chance to draw people in, have some fun,

tempos can change as they learn to cover more

and become more relatable to just about anyone

ground or become more collected. Chances are

walking by. Horses dancing to music are a spectacle

you may go through a round or two (or three…)

everyone can appreciate!

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EQ AM Spring 2019  

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