Monday, July 13, 2009

The Beat Goes On

As I’ve ridden various horses over the past few years, I’ve discovered that every horse has his own rhythm, and that that rhythm can be translated into song. For example, I used to ride a big draft-cross named Kit Kat. When we were trotting around the indoor arena one day, I realized that his trot was exactly the beat and rhythm of “Ruby Tuesday” by the Rolling Stones. So he’d trot and I’d sing. I tried other songs with him, but Kit Kat's song was “Ruby Tuesday” and nothing else would do.

When I was riding Loki, a wonderful Welsh pony (a horse, really, as he was about 15.2), I discovered that the rhythm of his walk was “California Girls” by the Beach Boys. We had a long walk from the barn to the fields where we rode, and one day I realized that I was hearing “California Girls” in my head as Loki walked along. And so that became his song.

To help keep Wolfie’s rhythm consistent in the indoor this winter and to make sure I was breathing properly, I sang “Row Your Boat” out loud all the time when we were in there alone. (It’s a great song for timing your approach to jumps, among other things.) But it felt generic and never really fit him very well. But a couple of days ago, I was riding Wolfie alone in the outdoor arena, and started singing a Bonnie Raitt song, “Wherever You May Be.” It fits the rhythm of his walk perfectly. Don't know how he feels about it, but I spent the morning outdoors with him today, singing out loud.


lucyfree said...

hooray Edie! great story and personal touch.

Unknown said...

There's also a theory based on the circle of fifths in music ... that people speak at "pitch" not always.... not every word.... but in their normal conversation ... that pitch will be consistent. So when the sound of another persons voice appeals to you ... the theory .... says that its because that persons voice has a harmonic relationship to your voice. The theory continues... that this harmony converges into the harmonic potential of that relationship. If only wolfie could sign along ....

Jessica Boyd said...

I sing to Bar all the time, both from the ground and from the saddle. I haven't figured out what his trot song is, though. I'd like it to be much slower than what appears to be, which is "My Generation" by The Who, but I think we'll have to work on that.

Most of the time, I can get him to speed up and slow down depending on the song I'm singing, or even the tempo I choose.

However, he has informed me that he does NOT like Led Zeppelin, and Peter (barn owner) says all Thoroughbreds like dirty songs. I don't happen to know any, so I can't confirm that fact at this time.