Dancing with horses

ESCANABA – Whether it’s to the music of Strauss, Duke Ellington, the Beatles, or U2, you can dance with your horse. On Saturday, May 25, dressage enthusiasts will have the opportunity to prove it by riding musical freestyle at the 2013 Summer Solstice Schooling Show at the UP State Fairgrounds.

Along with great completion, this year’s show promises to be welcoming and informative. In addition to Freestyle, new classes this year include Dressage Equitation and the challenge of Prix Caprilli.

Musical Freestyle is a true exhibition of harmony between horse and rider. As well as harmony, the judge will be looking at choreography, and music interpretation. While displaying these qualities the horse and rider must show the basics of dressage like balance, rhythm and impulsion.

Dressage Equitation is a group class in which the judge scores solely on the rider’s performance. He must decide which rider comes closest to the ideal for position and effectiveness.

Prix Caprilli consists of a dressage test that includes 18-inch jumps. The horse and rider pair are judged on gaits and jumping style. Impulsion, submission, and rider effectiveness come into play as well.

This is the third year for the Summer Solstice Schooling Show. The show has drawn riders from the Delta County area as well as Wisconsin and the Keweenaw. To welcome competitors there will be a meet-and-greet at 7 p.m. Friday, May 24, at the fairgrounds.

The lunch break at the show will feature an equine massage demonstration by CESMT Kathy Hartnett of Superior Equine Horse Massage Therapy and Rehab.

Spectators are welcome and admission is free. Competition starts at 9 a.m.