The Soundtrack to Our Rides

The Soundtrack to Our Rides

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Back when I was a young lass… I’ve always wanted to be able to start a story this way, so a story about what happens when horses and technology collide seemed like a good time to do it. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have grown up riding horses and as a child of the nineties I rode sans iPod. As I finished uni and moved away from home rather than riding with my mum, I often found myself riding alone. I began to listen to music more and more. Over the last few years, I have fluctuated between riding to a soundtrack and riding in the ‘silence’ of nature.

I take great pleasure in the ability of music to influence emotions, whether the song personifies joy or transports you back to a particular chapter of your life and the emotions that were prominent during this time. As a bit of a nerd, I was thrilled to realise that this has previously been described by the likes of Aristotle and this observation is supported by science. These emotions can take hold within our bodies and can influence us physically, so of course if you do choose to ride with music, careful selection is important. Here are a few of the tunes I love:

The question on my mind at present is not whether it is enjoyable to ride with a back drop of music, but rather should it be done at all? Here is my take:

The Benefits:

– Having music playing whilst you ride can be beneficial in increasing the riders relaxation. In the past I have had great difficulty striking the balance between maintaining a strong and effective position and being relaxed. During these times music has helped to achieve this.

– The right song can really help to improve the quality of the paces by acting as a goal post for rhythm

– Breathing! Bailey Notle of @joyful_dressage discusses the importance of breathing and how a good sing along can assist. I know I have certainly been guilty of this when I have the arena to myself

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The Negatives:

– I have noticed recently how distracting riding with music playing can be. When working on new or harder movements where I need to think about the process and the sequence of aids I need to apply, I have needed to pause my music in order to be able to focus.

– I do often wonder if having music on whilst riding is potentially dangerous. However I have come to the decision that so long as you aren’t blasting your ear drums out or riding along the side of the road you should be fairly safe.

– I also find myself questioning how it may impact upon my ability to connect with my horse. If we our connected to the music does this prevent us connecting with our equine partner, or does it in fact serve to enhance this connection? I feel that Nonie and I have an excellent relationship, and I am not convinced that the absence of music with all its benefits would have enhanced this.

So I am sitting on the fence on this matter, I’d love to know what you guys think.