Sue's Tips for Creating a Freestyle

1. Really get to know the horse's character and personality as priority.
2. Think about the atmosphere of the show aimed at.
3. Think about the horses strengths and weaknesses.
4. Think about the riders capabilities.
5. Have enough difficulty in the floor plan not to be boring and simple but without causing mistakes (calculated risk for that horse and rider at that show at that stage of their career and training).
6. Think of what that horse could do well and how difficult the moves could be made to show off his talents.
7. Start to build the test around this, helping out the less confident moves too.
8. It’s about gaining the maximum marks the horse could get now and bearing in mind it’s future.
9. Moves that have been a problem in standard tests could be improved with clever tactics, freestyles can be a good way of schooling your horse in competition.
10. Difficulty means how a movement is placed and in what order in the test.
11. Try to show something you are good at immediately to get the judges attention.
12. When I say immediately could be from the halt, what could be fit in to look good before even reaching the top of arena.
13. Be as crazy and inventive as possible but prioritise horses character and atmosphere and what you think will happen on the day.
14. Have seen many times some of the most talented horses, those predicted to do well not show their best in the freestyle, a higher score can be gained by being creative and showing off harmony.
15. Make it flow and look a nice pattern, show some mirror image to be even both ways, it’s nice to know what’s coming in some places as well as showing interesting surprises too.
16. Out wit the other competitors! Harmony, calculated risk and creativity is the key.
17. The above is just the choreography / floor plan. When it comes to the music get the best you can to create this. If it has a theme or can tell a story that’s a bonus and remember the music should make you feel good. Not just you, think of the judges as priority and what you think they would like, audience and spectators too! Feel good music, music with drama is good but must also suit the horse and rider.
18. TOM HUNT MUSIC is a Genius !!!