I have three horses one of which is a tennesse walker who is need of some training. Well, if I do not do my ground work with him first and get his mind working and ready for training, he acts like a tard. He will buck and crow hop and do all kinds of crazy things. But if I do twenty mins of ground work (my warm-up for my horses) he is good to go. He will be in the mindset to work and train. Funny story though a friend of mine did exactly that she got on her horse and cantered off trying to be a showoff, well her horse isnt exactly broke. THe horse took off at a dead sprint caught her off gaurd bucked her off and she landed face first in a pile of manure hahahaha. I guess that's what you get right?
This may sum it up for you. Can you or do you just sprint off when you go run. I little warm up it the best thing for both of you. In an emergency yes, but give them and your body time to warm up. Once you get to a certain age it you do not warm up you hurt for a few days.
I always warm him up at walk/trot for about 20 minutes before cantering. I was just wondering if ever I did have to just jump on and go (say for instance while on the lake trip) whether it would seriously hurt him.
We're going to be conditioning them during the summer to stuff like this but yeah.
And by warmup I mean riding warmup, not groundwork.
I do a circle or 2 of canter sometime after 10 mins walk before actually trot. Not like I really want it, but she works and feels much better after that (of course I'm talking about horse in shape, not after long winter break). It's not a fly, but controlled canter (if I'd try that on my other horse she'd go into buck, because she needs to be warmed up pretty good before cantering). I raised this question here at the forum before, and some people mentioned horses with the same need. I don't think it'll hurt something badly. Although jumping on and taking off doesn't sound like a good idea. May pull a muscle or something.
I don't warm up any of my horses before I ride unless I am going to be asking for something strenuous like a dead run before roping a steer. I may also warm up if I am going to put them in a stressful situation like a parade or other similar event because it tends to relax them and makes them calmer around things that may otherwise scare them. It is possible for a horse to pull a muscle or bow a tendon from just loping off with no warm-up? Yes, but it is unlikely. The only other reason that I may warm up a horse is if they are very green and I will work out the kinks before stepping aboard. If your horse is used to being ridden every day, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. Most injuries from just loping off tend to happen more in horses with sedentary lives where they are stalled all the time and seldom ridden resulting in fitness issues.
This is a rather extreme example, but I'll tell it anyway. Girl at the barn I used to ride at was an eventer. Her idea of "warming up" was to ride the ring for 5-10 minutes at a hand gallop before putting her horse over 4' jumps. None of us agreed with what she was doing, and her new horse was lame inside of a month.
Now, whether this was from the lack of warm-up or just the fact that she was pushing his program too fast is debatable. From a mental standpoint, I do not think she was doing her horses any favors: when she rode them on a regular basis, they were over-sensitive and explosive, both on the ground and in the saddle.