Ruth Hogan-Poulsen Dressage

Ruth Hogan Poulsen Dressage with training facilities in Plainfield, Vermont and Loxahatchee, Florida.

Freestyles From A - C

Freestyles from A to C  is Ruth's dedication to creating musical freestyles for all level riders - from competitive international freestyles to every day training tapes for non-competitors.  Ruth has been designing and choreographing freestyles for many decades, creating freestyles which have been  represented in every level of the USDF Regional Championships, and  performed at the World Equestrian Games,  Regional Championships,  National Championships and  HOTA awards, and by Para-Equestrians. 

"I am a firm believer in thematic and instrumental consistency; it is important in giving the freestyle cohesiveness and flow."  ~ Ruth

She is also a proud eight-time winning coach and choreographer for the International Team  for the annual Challenge of the Americas Freestyle Quadrille, which benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 

The Goals

Finding the right music to ride and train your horse to is an exciting process.  Before making a musical freestyle, you should have some clear goals in mind and ask yourself  some questions: What will this musical freestyle be used for? What type of competition (local, USDF, FEI, national or international)? Are you aware of the requirements for the freestyle you would like to prepare? Can you identify your horse's strengths and weaknesses? Are there any outstanding characteristics about you or your horse that would help your selection of music? Do you have any instincts or ideas about what kind of music will suite your partnership?  Do you have a trainer who can help you make decisions and give you feedback on correct tempo for your horse?

The Time Table

Most freestyle or musical creations take about two-three months. Ruth has handled many rush orders and "freestyle emergencies" as well. 


The Process

With a keen ear and decades of experience, Ruth first performs a meticulous gait analysis for each horse (either in person or via video) to sync perfectly tempo'd music. She then discusses with rider and/or trainer the genre or style of music which best suit their personality and physiology.  A theme for your freestyle can be instrumentally related, genre related, movie titles, or the like. This is a highly individualized musical selection process. 

"We will work together on the music selection until we are both 100 percent satisfied." ~ Ruth

Ruth has vast amounts of experience piecing together choreography which plays off the horse's strengths. She can create choreography or put music to choreography created by the rider or trainer. Once music cuts and timing are finalized, Ruth makes  the final edit of the music using  a professional program to produce broadcast-quality digital CDs and DVDs for  practice  showing. You will receive both CDs and DVDs of your music and your pattern for practicing and for showing. 

"Other people's options are also important . . .we need to please you, the spectators and the judges."  ~ Ruth

Once your freestyle is complete, listen to it over and over (and over!). The instructional CDs and the instructional DVD will be of great help for memorization.  If things don't go as planned while  performing  at a competition (it happens to all of us), knowing your music completely will make recovery easier - you may even keep the judges from detecting that you are improvising!  


The Final Product

With any of the final products  you will receive:

  • One Practice DVD of your music, overlaid onto a DVD of your test pattern and choreography with instructional narration, so you can see and hear your test together with the music and hear the musical transitions. This ensures that you are prepared and understand the phrasing and musical transitions for you and your horse. 
  • On  Practice CD of your music (with instructional narration to help your learn your music and the transitions).
  • One Practice CD of your music exactly the same as your show CD.
  • Two Broadcast quality CDs for Showing. (One backup)

Freestyle Examples