Ruth Hogan Poulsen Answers Frequently Asked Questions About Riding to Music

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Q: Why not just ride to the radio?

A: Any music is great to listen to when you ride, but to actually enhance your ride, you need a few key ingredients: The correct tempo or beats per minute for EACH gait. The correct genre of music to help you relax, or add energy to your ride. My instruction throughout the program serves as a guide to make sure you understand the music and that you’re able to hear the actual downbeats of the music. Not all music maintains the same tempo or keeps a particular rhythm.  Riding With Soul™ CDs are made with songs that fulfill these requirements. They have correct walk, trot, or canter BPM, and maintain a steady rhythm.

Q: I can’t even find or maintain a steady tempo in my lessons with my instructor! How could a CD help me?
A: Your instructor can help with so much, but rhythm can be so elusive. Maybe you can find it when your teacher counts the beats, but immediately lose it once she stops. Each 20 to 30 minute program gives you constant help in following the rhythm. Even without consciously thinking about it, your body will tend to match and maintain the tempo of the music.

Q: What happens when I don’t use the music? Will it just be a crutch that I need to ride with every day?
A: Both people and animals develop muscle memory. When a person or animal repeatedly trains a movement, it creates a new habit. Remember music with a strong beat can stimulate brainwaves to shift speeds more easily on its own as needed.  That means that music can bring lasting benefits to your state of mind, even after you’ve stopped listening! Through correct practice, we develop new habits. When the music is taken away, the muscle memory sticks!