Music is a massive global industry. We hear it every day in all walks of life from concerts and the radio to movies and TV adverts. But have you ever thought about how we use music in the equestrian industry.......read on to find out.
Music in the Yard
You go into any stables in the country in fact in the world, and nine times out of ten there will be a radio blasting out the latest top hits on a shelf somewhere on the yard. These tunes are often turned up loud enough that they can be heard from every angle whilst the groom(s) whiz around with various items of mucking out equipment and tack going about there day to day routines. Ask any of these busy workers and they will all tell you that were the music not playing, they probably wouldn't be working with as much enthusiasm or speed.
Horses can also benefit from music playing in the yard, song of a certain tone most predominantly classical has been proven to help calm equines of a nervous disposition. Lets be fair though how many yards have you been to that are playing Classic FM. Practically every time you will be listening to Radio 1 or a similar channel with a mixture of dance, pop and R&B. The horses never seem to mind though, in fact sometimes they even seem to enjoy certain songs playing.
Dressage to Music.
For many of us watching dressage it can become pretty boring, I mean once you've seen one set test you've pretty much seen them all. Now add an element of freestyle and a music track to match the horses paces, and all of a sudden dressage becomes something even more magical and much easier viewing.
Take Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro's Grand Prix Freestyle test at the 2012 London Olympics for example, the combination of a beautiful partnership between horse and rider and the significance of the music which included God Save the Queen, The Great Escape and the chimes of Big Ben, brought most of the British public to tears (including myself might I add). It wasn't just us equestrians that were emotional about their performance though the whole country got on board and Charlotte became known in the media as 'the girl on the dancing horse.'
Have you ever travelled to a competition riddled with nerves and wondered why you have even entered the show in the first place. Yep I think we've all been there at some point. All it can take is one song to come on the Radio or listening to a motivational playlist on your device and suddenly your an invincible superhero ready to take on the world and all its x-country courses/showjumps. My current favourite is the soundtrack from the new movie The Greatest Showman it certainly is a must watch and a must listen.
Overall it is amazing what one song can do for a persons mindset and to a rider it can mean all the difference between a winning performance or a disastrous one. So next time your going to a competition have a think about what kind of music is coming out of the speakers?
Looking for some motivation inspiration give these songs a listen.
*Kesha - Learn to let go.
*Gloria Gaynor - I Am What I Am.
*Katy Perry - Firework.
*Heather Small - Proud.
*Nickelback - What are you Waiting For?
*Victoria Banks - When You can Fly.
The Lap of Honour.
As a rider or a spectator the lap of honour is often the highlight of the day/evening. What makes it so special?
Is it the rider with a smile like the Cheshire cat from a winning performance, the nice shiny trophy and frilly rosettes being awarded to successful competitors or the commentators announcements over the microphone. Answer is in fact non of the above, what really gets the crowds going is the horses expressively cantering round to a loud soundtrack such as Tina Tuners - Simply the Best whilst the audience clap and cheer in time to the beat. This is what the crowds remember, this is what the riders strive for.
Perhaps the most iconic lap of honour music is Holyrood from the Horse of the Year Show, which leaves past competitors and future dreamers wishing they were in the ring and the riders hoping the moment would never end.
Throughout this blogpost its easy to see just how much music is not just a part of our everyday lives but a big part of our equestrian lives as well. Is this a good thing.....well I certainly believe it is.