How do you warm up?
 
 

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How do you warm up?

This is a discussion on How do you warm up? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Horse riding warm ups
  • Warm up for english horseback riding

 
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    03-17-2013, 04:24 PM
  #1
Foal
How do you warm up?

I think that the way you warm up is really important, and it's interesting to hear about how everyone starts off. Regardless of your discipline, warming up is important and you still need to get your horse using him/herself.

Personally, I like giving my horse their head, walking around on a loose rein for a couple circles each way. Then I'll ask for a bit of stretching through the neck and ask for a long and low frame for the trot before getting a nice "outline". I think they need to get in the mindset to work as well as getting physically warmed up. Once mine starts really stretching forward, looking for contact and moving from behind I know they're ready to start the warm up. I tend to go around the arena, doing 20m circles and maybe some figure eights as well, just to get them thinking. Usually it takes me 5-10 minutes to warm up, depending on the horse and how much time I can spend getting them ready.

How do you warm up? What are you looking for when you start your ride? How do you know your horse is warmed up?

Also- going to start to ride my ottb in the next couple weeks. The horses I've been riding all have developed toplines that they use already. My guy has zero muscle right now so we'll only be "working" for like 15-20 minutes at first. Just thought I'd ask, does anyone have any tips on how to get him using his back at the beginning of my ride?
     
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    03-17-2013, 04:45 PM
  #2
Foal
Do pretty much the same as you
     
    03-17-2013, 08:54 PM
  #3
Weanling
I like to take the horse for a 10-15 minute hack first, with a bit of trotting and cantering thrown in, with a generally loose contact letting the horse limber up. If I can't go for a hack, I will spend that time doing similar stuff but in the riding area.
     
    03-17-2013, 09:38 PM
  #4
Weanling
I trot on a loose rein around a few times, get him into a very forward trot, then pick him up for a bit, then ride him long and low again, pick up, low, pick up, low. We do serpentines and leg yields and some extensions across the diagonal while doing this. Then we canter some big, loose circles on longer reins, do some lead changes, come back to trot and collect up for some shoulder-ins, renvers, travers, half-passes, small circles, walk/trot transitions, etc. And then he feels fancy and happy and ready to get into competition frame and really work. I can feel his whole body change and everything is supple and free and all the angles have been stretched. His trot gets more suspension and extension naturally, he is quick on the aids, completely focused and excited. His "I'm ready!" is unmistakeable.

What you're doing sounds good. One thing that helps my horse when he is tight is riding super loosely, getting real momentum, and riding lots and lots of circles - big and small - all over the place. Make sure he's bending correctly and not throwing his shoulders and ass everywhere. Be a crazy lady and make your body like spaghetti. Sing a song. He becomes more relaxed and looser from this. Also, saddle fit can be a huge help for some horses. You can try different kinds to see if you get his back happier. There are some saddles my horse loves to round into and others that make him run around with his neck up and back hollow.
     
    03-18-2013, 09:43 PM
  #5
Weanling
I have three warm ups:

For a lesson: loose rien w/t/c/ large circles. Spirals, leg yeilds and shoulder in. Many transitons.

For a school:i spend 5-10 minutes walking on a loose rien, doing easy large circles, establishing some bend. Then I do some spirals at walk trot, turn on forehand/haunches and more circles with a light contact working on connecting with my outside rien(inside leg to outside rein). When I have a nice contact and he is stretching over his back and reaching for the bit I pick him up a bit more into his frame and add in leg yield/shoulder in/ haunches in. Finally, I do canter work, he has a veyr weak canter, so mostly its long and low with large circles.

On a bad day I just warm up through long and low with big circles and figures, and do this later in the ride^^

Jump warm up: walk trot canter, mostly working on transitions and riding through different types of walk/trot/canter(i.e. Bouncy canter, hand gallop, slow canter). Strong focus on steady rythem!

It can take me anywhere from 10-30 minutes to warm up...but my horse has a tendency to panic when pushed too fast, so it takes a while :)
     
    03-18-2013, 09:51 PM
  #6
Yearling
I always start out with a circle or two at a loose rein walk, both directions, then I move into a brisk trot. I don't like to spend a lot of time walking, one or two circles/ times around the arena/area are enough. Trotting is the 'real' warm up for me, haha.
     
    03-19-2013, 12:37 AM
  #7
Foal
It takes me anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to warm up. It all depends on my horse. Like today, I spent nearly the whole riding time getting her mind in the working setting instead of the lazy horse setting. Other days though she's ready to go and can't wait to get to work. All depends what's going on too. Like for shows I spend a good 40 minutes making sure she's loose and listening to me.

My warm up routine normally is trotting around the arena (ours is pretty big) about 3-4 times each way. Then I canter maybe 1 1/2-2 times each way then walk for a few minutes. Flex her, turn in some circles and then trot and canter 20m circles each way to make sure she's bending right. It sounds like a lot but it really isn't and doesn't take a lot of time either. My horse is pretty fit so this doesn't make her sweat unless she goes into crazy barrel racer mode and gets hyped up then she sweats because she's nervous and wigs herself out (weird horse I know but I still lover her) haha.
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