Riding w/o Warmup - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 02-26-2009, 01:38 PM
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I think warm-up is very important both before and after you ride. Like pmweeks said, it's like if you were expected to suddenly do a sprint run without stretching, walking or light jogging first. I always walk my horse about for about 15 minutes before starting. I always do a lot of trot work before canter work. Canter work always comes at the end. Its good to walk your horse out after the ride as well. I'm sure you know what its like to run around a lot and then completely stop, its the same with horses. They need to be eased back into a walk, not just stopped completely. Sometimes you won't need to do much. You can tell if your horse needs to cool off by feeling his chest and neck for heat, and also checking the colour of his nostrils. If inside they are red, he's probably a bit hot.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future'" ~ Jeremiah 29:11

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post #12 of 17 Old 02-26-2009, 06:21 PM
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I guess I do a warm up. I'll walk around the arena, do circles, change of directions and serpentines (I'll even warm up too by posting at the walk and doing a 2 point.) I'll do the same at the trot, before I go into any sort of more work.
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post #13 of 17 Old 02-26-2009, 06:34 PM
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I'm with Smrobs, I don't do a warm up because #1 we ride almost every day and #2 we aren't doing anything strenuous. I will do some flexing if we are using new tack or if she hasn't been ridden in a few days. I do it from her back though not in a round pen. Just to make sure she is giving to the bit and is relaxed and calm. We always start off at a walk and work our way up too.
So yes, I guess most of the time we do just jump on and take off. I wouldn't have a horse I had to lunge for 10 min. to get the stink off before it was safe to get on.

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post #14 of 17 Old 02-26-2009, 06:36 PM
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I think a good warm up for any activity is a smart idea. Like people have been mentioning, if you were suddenly asked to sprint after a relatively relaxing day, you wouldn't be feeling so hot during or after. Even for trail riding I at least walk/trot in the ring beforehand- especially because walking up hills puts a lot of strain on tendons and that wouldn't be good if the horse's muscles were cold.

I've always been taught to give the horse a good 15-20 minute warmup walking and trotting. If not to warmup the horse's muscles, but also to get them focused and concentrated on working before I tried anything demanding. Especially in the cold weather when they'd be especially stiff and the ground was harder and therefore more strenuous on their legs. I think warming our bodies up is just am important too! I'm always super stiff when I first get on and it takes a few minutes for me to get in the mindset. If the rider isn't relaxed and focused, how are we supposed to expect our horses to be? Oh, and an adequate cool down is just as important too!

In my opinion, horses are such delicate animals, why risk it? I'd rather take the 15 minutes at the beginning and end of my ride and do the boring stuff than end up with a splint or bow and not be able to ride for months.

Last edited by kerplop; 02-26-2009 at 06:38 PM.
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post #15 of 17 Old 02-26-2009, 07:20 PM
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I'm with smrobs and Vida, Mostly I trail ride so I just get on and go. Sure I walk for a few minutes but thats just down the road until I get out the gate, then I trot off and canter soon after. The only time I really do a warmup is at a competition, before i'm aboutt o do something strenuous like sporting or jumping.

I've never had a horse go lame or sore from lack of warmup. A lot of it is just common sense.

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post #16 of 17 Old 02-26-2009, 07:32 PM
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I'm also a trailrider, but I do warm-up my horses. Warm-up consists simply of walking and flexing them. Gives me a chance to feel how each horse is doing that particular day (especially since T is older). May only take 10 - 15 mins, but I feel it's an important step.

Also cool down after riding too. Nice way to end a great ride!
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post #17 of 17 Old 02-26-2009, 08:14 PM
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Warmup. A very important practice for both horse and rider. Imagine if a marathon runner, just got up every morning and ran 8 miles, without doing anything before hand. Horses are athletes just like the runner and they need time to stretch and warm up their muscles and body before work just as well. No matter what type of work you do, you should warm your horse up at the beginning and cool him down at the end.

__________________________________________________ ___________________________
(My own Summary of USPC Manual)
A good warmup:
-Is essential for EVERY ride.
-Is used to prevent injuries, strain, and tears. It supples, stretches and warms up the muscles.
-It helps to develop rhythm, balance, and relaxation for both horse AND rider.
-It prepares both horse AND rider physically and mentally.
__________________________________________________ _________________________

I hope everyone takes this into consideration, because with a warmup, your horse will not only perform smoother, but you will also be preventing injuries as well.

Thanks, eventnwithwinston
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