17.6.17

Tempo and rhythm

Have you ever found that you've read an article and somehow so many things suddenly made sense to you? 💡This happened to me a few day ago when I read this Dressage Today article about the difference between tempo and rhythm. Heather Blitz answered the question about the difference between tempo and rhythm where she explained that tempo is the rate or speed of motion or activity whilst rhythm is a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound. One is sequence (rhythm) and one is speed (tempo) - I loved this article since its a personal bugbear of mine because you cannot have a 'fast rhythm'! 
There were 2 really tips in this article. The first one was to do with extended trot where Heather points out that riding trot extensions should not allow the speed of the horse’s steps to change. Just to  extend the frame and length of step, whilst keeping the number of beats per minute the same as in the collected trot. Although I have ridden plenty of medium and extended trots in my lifetime, this point made it incredibly clear of what us riders should be aiming for! Heather also recommended using the corners of the arena to help by asking for a few steps of extension in the trot, and then come back into a collected trot when coming into a corner. I did this yesterday and it really improved Vallu's mediums (it was too hot and humid to even try for a proper extension!) 

The second great hint was to ride with the help of a metronome, which you can get an app for at least on iPhones. Set the metronome to be the same as the horse’s collected trot and then see what will happen when you extend the trot - the aim is to keep the same tempo and to lengthen the stride rather than quicken the tempo but it’s much easier to simply get quicker. I did this and it's super interesting to see what happens... 🤔 After a few times with Vallu I realised that I need to be super clear about asking for the same tempo rather than rushing myself!
This was my face when I managed to ride well enough to improve his medium trots!
If anyone is experiencing difficulties in improving their medium or extended trot I really think you should try these tips, I think they could help you too! 👍🏻

4 comments:

  1. Oooo, I love the idea of a metronome app! I have a metronome around somewhere from my days of playing the cello but haven't brought it to the barn because I can't find it. Now I can just go download an app :)

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    1. It's actually been super interesting riding with one just when playing around with the trot work. I don't use it all the time, just when I'm on my own with no trainer and feel the need to try and improve the trot!

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  2. A metronome app is a great idea for dressage.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah I think so too! I just wish someone had mentioned it to me earlier!

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