Pony Club musical ride




The Musical Ride competition will take place at Stradbally Hall,  Stradbally,  Co. Laois on Sunday 3rd July at 2.00 pm.

Entries close on Thursday 30th June.  Entries can be made online or through your DC if your branch is not online

For further information, please phone the IPC on 056.8832966 or go to http://irishponyclub.ie/activities/musical-ride/

The winning team has been invited to give a display at the RDS Dublin Horse Show on Sunday, 24th July and at The Curragh Pony Club Race Day on Sunday, 28th September.

A Musical Ride is a group of riders performing a series of movements to music.

Riding to music with a group of your friends is a really enjoyable experience. Any age of rider or any size of horse or pony can take part once you can safely control your mount. You can try it for fun at a rally or at camp but ideally with your instructor. With a bit of practise your Branch might commit to entering the Musical Ride competition that takes place at the annual IPC Championships Festival.

Later in the year we will post an Information Guide for this competition. In the meantime here are some hints and a video of the winning Musical Ride from the 2015 Festival.

Suggestions for Musical Ride teams

A Musical Ride should be enjoyable for the riders and interesting for the spectators. Above all it should be fun. Anybody can be involved in a Musical Ride regardless of ability, experience, type of horse or age of rider. Participation, practice and ultimately teamwork are what is desirable.

Remember you are performing to an audience who enjoy watching diverse movements involving changes of direction, changes of rein and ‘collision course’ movements.

Music is important. Whilst you may enjoy ‘heavy metal’ or alternative music, think of the audience. A definite beat and foot tapping music keeps your audience interested and keeps the horses together. Select music which suits the gait. Common or 4/4 time for trotting and 3/4 time for cantering. Some modern music (eg. Tina Turner type) and some classic (eg. William Tell Overture) is ideal. Think about the music as it can make or break your ride. Remember you are working at attracting an audience and then keeping them interested.

It doesn’t matter if your horses are different colours, nor does it matter if they are different sizes. Work around the slowest mount and put it on the inside of any movement and temper the gait of the bigger or longer striding mounts accordingly. Work at keeping the ride flowing. Stop midstream and your audience will lose interest. When working apart, keep your eye on your partner and if necessary alter your stride to keep up or drop back, whichever is necessary. One member of the ride should be the ‘boss ‘ and dictate speed etc. Cantering can be more eye catching, but it is easier to lose your dressing and become ragged, so be careful. A well-presented ride of mainly trotting with good lines, dressing and distances is more pleasing to the eye than a ragged canter ride.

If your horse explodes or plays up – don’t worry. If you do you’ll only make him worse. Concentrate on relaxing and staying in your position. If you are supposed to be trotting and your horse decides he is more comfortable cantering, don’t try and bring him back. Just keep your distance, line and dressing right. He will settle in time. The practice ring is the place for discipline, not in front of an audience.

Keep your ride simple. Don’t ask for two track or rein back work if all the horses are not up to it. It shows. A simple ride (where everyone is relaxed) of a wide variety of movements and full use of the arena is far more enjoyable for everyone concerned. You are showing the judge and the audience that your horses can work together or apart. The important thing is that the movements flow and are joined into one another. With cross throughs, the closer you are the better. With wheels, ride knee to knee. If you have a horse which may kick, keep it on the outside.

Whilst walking as a team shows obedience, it can be uninteresting to an audience. If you are going to include walking in your ride, perhaps do it as a ‘coming together’ movement or as a final gesture at the conclusion, remembering to thank your mount for a job done well or otherwise.

Above all show the judge, audience and yourselves that you are enjoying what you are doing. This is the fun part of the Festival.


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