How do I do a dressage warm up in the cold? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 07-05-2010, 12:51 PM
Green Broke
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Don't get over-zelous with the stretches though, there was a study showing that if done too often, the stretches can do more harm than good

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post #12 of 18 Old 07-05-2010, 06:18 PM
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No problems ;) And as said above, stretches are good but in moderate amounts, you also have to be super careful with them in really cold weather ... you try getting out of bed on a freezing day when all your tendons have contracted and trying to do the splits. You're likely to pull/tear something. Tendons are the most important things to warm up, above muscles even, You really do not want to damage a horses tendon as you'll be looking at months for recovery. Hence the 15-20 mins of walking on a long rein, with shallow curves and keeping everything soft and nothing abrupt, that gives the tendons time to stretch out and warm up before you start working on steep laterals and sharper lines, which can easily damage a tendon if you don't warm up enough.
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post #13 of 18 Old 07-05-2010, 07:35 PM
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Warm up like you would any other day. The weather should not change your training and personally I like a chilly windy day because my horse has more energy. The only thing that I would do is keep a quarter sheet on them when you are walking to and from anywhere while mounted and bring winter blankets for in the barn. If you have Back on Track in Australia look at buying some of their stuff. Grab a saddle pad and a quarter sheet and your ponies will be toasty.

Good luck!
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post #14 of 18 Old 07-06-2010, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again guys, I'll watch it with the stretches - I don't think Barc would cope with tendon problems at his age. Not doing too many sharp transitions and lines and steep laterals should also keep Barcoo and Ollie calm before the tests as well. They both have a tendancy to get a bit hyped.

Thanks Anebel :) . I would warm up like usual, but with a 20 year old horse I want to be extra careful. I don't think we do have a Back on Track in Aus - I've never come across it - and we leave for Warwick tomorrow and don't have time to order things haha.

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post #15 of 18 Old 07-06-2010, 01:53 PM
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As has been told to me time and time again by international judges and vets. Ride it. If it can't hold up to what you want to do then retire it, sell it, lease it, etc. With any horse you should never hop on and expect grand prix, even a grand prix horse. Start at training level and work your way up no matter what the weather, with any horse we need to be careful not to overface them or override them. If you are so worried about the horse's condition and taking it to a show to ride and compete it, then why are you going? If you don't feel the horse is up to it then maybe he needs a new job, being a competitive dressage horse is hard on any horse.
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post #16 of 18 Old 07-08-2010, 03:53 AM
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I usually just go on as I normaly would. I do warm up for longe than usual and I don't work my horse too hard. But, with me being in Alberta I am pretty sure that we ride colder weather haha (nothing colder than -20 of course)
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post #17 of 18 Old 07-08-2010, 10:59 AM
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Once horse has been brushed place a pre-warmed heating pad where the saddle goes (with a saddle pad over top) until you're done grooming and ready to tack up.

Buy a quarter blanket to place over his hind leg during walk breaks and up to the time you mount.

Take a long time at the walk to warm up - trot should start out long and low to give his back plenty of time to warm up.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #18 of 18 Old 07-09-2010, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,
Well, we went and did it and I spent some time doing stretches with him, as well as lots of walking on the lead rope. The actual riding warm up consisted of lots of long and low, small trot/big trot transitions, and pretty much just focusing on keeping him loose before starting on the sharper transitions, lines, etc. He was so much looser and happier when he went into the ring than when we started our warmup. Thanks heaps for all the help and ideas. =] I talked to one of my coaches and she agreed that a long warm up was a good idea. It was one of Barcoo’s last competitions and I’m glad to say that it ended on a fairly good note. Barcoo proved that he’s definitely capable of the competition and more.
Arksly - You definitely live somewhere colder than I do! Colder than Warwick too. But your horses would be used to it =].
Anabel - I'm not sure exactly your intended meaning, whether offensively or not, so for that, I'm not going to comment except to say that my horse is perfectly capable, and I wouldn't be a good horse owner if I wasn't concerned for my horse's well being.

...Every rider has that one horse that changes everything about them...
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