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Musical Freestyle Clinic October 2020

EIDEA is proud to host a Musical Freestyle Clinic with freestyle designer Melanie Michalak.  The clinic will be held October 2-4 at Winds Reach Farm in Iowa City, IA.  


This clinic is for anyone who is interested in how music can be integrated with riding.    After all, what is the base of the Pyramid of Training - rhythm and tempo!  Whether you hope to ride a freestyle one day or want some new music to listen to while you ride, this clinic will be immensely informative and fun.  Melanie Michalak is an "L" judge with a B.A. and M.A. in music and over 30 years' experience crafting award winning freestyles for riders of all levels. After watching you ride, she will make suggestions and let you ride to several selections.  She has literally thousands of pieces for us to try.   For those serious about developing a freestyle that highlights the strengths of both horse and rider, this clinic can be a first step in working with Melanie to achieve that goal.  Melanie will introduce the clinic with a lecture on Friday night.  Saturday and Sunday will be devoted to working with riders on music that fits their horse's tempo at different gaits.   As always, auditors are welcome.  Riders must wear a safety helmet and appropriate footwear and sign a release.   Melanie does not allow videotaping.  


Auditing is encouraged and FREE for EIDEA members and USPC members.  Please preregister even if you are a member so we can plan for lunch.   Lunch is included in auditing fee for those pre-registered by 9/25/2020. 


We all understand that Covid-19 is a threat in the current environment.   During the clinic all will be asked to follow appropriate protocols.  When not able to social distance ALL will be required to wear masks.   The indoor arena is wide enough that auditors can sit on the long side of the large dressage arena and auditors can social distance.  We will basically be following the same protocol as a recognized show. We will have masks available if someone needs one. Food will be purchased from a restaurant and packaged for individuals.  The clinician has reserved the right to cancel if the pandemic situation makes her uncomfortable.  We are all hoping that won't be the case.


Friday Evening

Lecture by Melanie.   The lecture will cover expectations of the clinic, regulations, musicality etc.   Lecture will be at 7:00pm at Winds Reach Farm.  Free to those registered to ride in the clinic.   $10 fee for all others.  Snacks and water will be available.


Saturday and Sunday Clinic/Lesson


Lessons are 45 or 60 minutes in length.  45 minutes lessons are private.  60 minute lessons can be private or semi-private (no more than two riders).  


There are two types of lessons.  The first is what Melanie would call “fun lessons”.  During these lessons will assess the horse/s and rider/s.  They then ride to music that Melanie picks for them.  The rider gets to see what is possible and learn about the immediacy of transitions riding a freestyle.  They get to try different music and choreography.   We encourage you to ride both days.


The second type of lesson is for the rider who wants to create a freestyle.  Melanie will do a music session with rider and their horse to identify music preference and that is appropriate and shows off the horse.  This is the first step in creating a musical freestyle.  You will need to work with Melanie again at a later date to work on choreography.   Melanie requires a $150 deposit to begin the process of creating a freestyle.  Freestyle pricing is based on the level.    This type of lesson will introduce auditors to what it takes to create a musical freestyle for competition. 


Contact Lois Pienkos with questions about the clinic.  319-560-8872


Costs and more


Ride cost and structure:​

• Friday night lecture, Riders are FREE, all others $10

• Individual lesson EIDEA member (45 minutes) $60

• Individual lesson non-EIDEA member (45 minutes) $80

• Individual lesson EIDEA member (60 minutes) $80

• Individual lesson non-EIDEA member (60 minutes) $120

• Semi-private and group lessons (60 minutes), members $40,        non-members $60

• Auditing, members are FREE, non-members $20/day (this includes lunch if pre-registered).  Pre-registration must be completed by 9/25/2020.  Auditors can sign up after 9/25/2020, including days of the clinic, but lunch will not be provided.

Stalls will be available at Winds Reach Farm:  $40 for day stall or $90 for the weekend (begin at 3:00 pm Friday.  This is a separate cost from the clinic fees.  Contact Ali Hayford at 319-541-3908 or in advance to make arrangements.  Jump out is free.

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