Customized Training Plans
Ruth is committed to personalizing the training process for each of her horse or human students. Ruth’s customized training plans focus on maintaining normalcy, integrity and individuality for horses and riders, even during peak competition season.
I like to think about small goals and big goals. . . I don’t like agendas. I think too many people ride with agendas, and they don’t listen to the horse or to themselves. I’m not going to force an agenda on my ride. It never works. – Ruth Hogan-Poulsen
While Poulsen Dressage may be her business, Ruth stresses that it is not a factory to turn out ribbons or awards.
The results of her training philosophy are evident through the longevity of her horses’ careers and the loyalty of her long-time clients.
“Each horse and rider deserves – and receives – personal attention,” she says. “I am committed to the improvement of each horse and rider team. Of course, we are all pursuing perfection in the show arena, but in my barn we also recognize the importance of emotional and physical health for our horses and riders.”
Poulsen hopes this positive, purposeful enthusiasm is felt by all her students, regardless of their level. Poulsen’s students range from trail riders up to Grand Prix dressage and everything in between. Her versatile training focuses on small, progressive steps with larger goals in mind.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever ridden with anybody that I learn something from every time, but I can honestly say that of Ruth. There’s no BS, but she’s never, ever negative. It’s always in a positive, reinforcing way.” – Susan Michalek, longtime friend and client
She’s scrupulous about watching each situation as if she’s never seen it. There’s a vividness and a believability to her training because Ruth rebuilds her understanding of the situation honestly. It’s a very rigorous understanding. – Candace Platz, DVM, longtime client
Interested in training with Ruth in Vermont or Florida? Contact her directly to learn more about available openings. To stay up-to-date, subscribe to her newsletter – her current clients and subscribers get first dibs on new slots!
During COVID-19, Ruth added more remote coaching (Zoom riding lessons) to her weekly schedule, and continues to offer limited remote coaching slots.
Interested in training with Ruth remotely? Subscribe to her newsletter – her current clients and then subscribers get first dibs on new remote coaching (Zoom riding lesson) slots!
Freestyles A to 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 Hogan-Poulsen
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.
What to Know Before Contacting Ruth for a Freestyle
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?
What Happens When You Work with Ruth on a Freestyle
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. Watch a quick version of Ruth analyzing music selection for two very different horses in this YouTube video:
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,” emphasizes 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 opinions are also important,” Ruth reminds clients. “We need to please you, the spectators and the judges!”
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!
What is Included in My Order
When the order is complete, freestyle design customers 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.
- One 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)
How Long Before You Get Your Final Freestyle
Most freestyle or musical creations take about two-three months. Ruth has handled many rush orders and “freestyle emergencies” as well.
Examples of Past Freestyles Created by Ruth Hogan-Poulsen
Recent Musical Freestyle Articles from Ruth: