Heelwork to Music (HTM) is a relatively recent competitive activity in which participants devise routines of up to four minutes, set to music, and perform the routines with their dog. HTM is divided into two categories – Heelwork to Music and Freestyle – and most shows stage official classes in both categories.
Heelwork to Music derived originally from the set exercises forming the heelwork component of competitive Obedience, with a musical backing, but it quickly grew into a much more demanding and creative discipline. The introduction of Freestyle – routines interpreting the music in which predefined heelwork movements form only a third or less of the total – added still further to the growing appeal of the sport.
Heelwork to Music has a wide range of facets, from a creative ‘play’ environment where pet owners develop a bond with their dogs, to opportunities for more competitive training and competition, to an enthralling and moving spectator event. At its best an HTM routine can be quite breath-taking – as anyone who has witnessed the ‘Best in Show’ evening at Crufts in recent years must be aware.
Our club members have been involved in Heelwork to Music for a number of years, both on a competitive and display
The YouTube clip (above) from the British Animal Honours 2013 shows our Chairman and his collie “Disney” as part of the display team – sporting matching blue shoes (David) and collar (Disney).