Songs that lend a voice to the equestrian world in a way only music can.
Training and riding passage, piaffe or a pirouette is seriously hard work. But when the music kicks in for the freestyle component of competition, it is no time to pick the kind of music that makes a job look harder. It’s time to have a little fun!
Increasingly, the top riders are making musical selections that accentuate their lighter side. And I love it! The excellent selections of Steffen Peters, like “Safety Dance” and “Under Pressure” have already been the subject of other Counter-Canter Culture articles. In this 100% Sound, I’m sharing with you the fun many other dressage riders are having with their musical selections.
So get ready to press play on these five videos that should have you tapping your toe along with some beautiful horses!
Get the full playlist on Spotify here: Dynamite Dressage Musical Freestyle Songs
HANS PETER MINDERHOUND & EQUIS NADINE
This freestyle routine is titled for YouTube as “The Cutest Grand Prix Freestyle EVER,” and I don’t think that is overstatement. My favorite parts are the overarching use of the Turtles’, “Happy Together” and The Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Perhaps you and your horse are pretty good at pirouettes. But are you stepping in time to the lyric “Turn, turn, turn” good? Mr. Minderhound and Equis Nadine are that good!
Listen to the tracks over on Spotify with the lyrics after you enjoy the video to appreciate the full effect of the integration of dressage movements and music.
1. HAPPY TOGETHER by The Turtles
2. TURN! TURN! TURN! by The Byrds
DEBBIE MACDONALD & BRENTINA
Debbie MacDonald and Brentina are having a fine time with their selections of Motown hits in this freestyle. Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” is somewhat of an obvious choice (I bet you wish you’d thought of it first), but it really works for these ladies. And the lyric “jump” always feels right around horses. Plus this routine features the awesome moment where protocol is broken and lyrics come over the loud speaker saying “She’s a brick house!” She sure is – give her a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t!
3. RESPECT by Aretha Franklin
4. JUMP (FOR MY LOVE) by The Pointer Sisters
ANJA PLOENZKE & LAMBORGINI
To say that it’s not everyday you hear Eminem in grand prix dressage would be a severe understatement. But if you are familiar with his work, then you know “Lose Yourself,” is an absolutely amazing choice for clutch moments. Of course, you just can’t argue with a crowd favorite like Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” and the mash up with Eminem’s “Without Me” is DJ worthy.
5. LOSE YOURSELF by Eminem
6. BILLIE JEAN by Michael Jackson
ASHLEY HOLZER & POP ART
With a horse named Pop Art, I really think you are obligated to go for it in the musical department. And go for it Ashley Holzer did. Whether it was really Holzer or her daughter who is ultimately responsible for these modern, feel good, music choices, I say to them both, “that night was indeed a good night!” Any time you get to do tempi changes to Florence singing “Can you hear the horses ’cause here they come,” followed by a one-handed pirouette just as Taio Cruz says “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes…” you are without a doubt nailing it!
7. I GOTTA FEELING by Stars from the album The Black Eyed Peas
8. DYNAMITE by Taio Cruz
9. DOG DAYS ARE OVER by Florence + The Machine
JUMP IN THE LINE
I end with a plea. I would love to see Harry Belafonte’s “Jump In The Line” used in a dressage musical freestyle as soon as possible. This is my current dressage music obsession, and this video, which splices together various freestyles to the tune, proves the viability. I can’t wait to see the real thing!
10. JUMP IN THE LINE by Harry Belafonte