How important is the trot ! - The Horse Forum
View Poll Results: Is trotting during warm up important ?
Yes 65 97.01%
No 2 2.99%
Voters: 67. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 63 Old 07-08-2012, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: California
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Angry How important is the trot !

Okay , so ive been riding for about 10 years , and pretty much the entire time I've been primarily English. About 3 years ago I moved to a small town that's ALL western . Barrel racing & roping is the BIG thing here , and so is absolute stupididty & ignorance when it comes to horses .. For example : I don't know one person who considers trotting a horse when warming up. & I mean I've litterally seen 3 people actually trot their horses , and two of them was because they were riding very young green horses. About 7 out of 10 horses I see are dead lame , and are still being ran !!! The first time I went to a gymkhana here , a horse went trotting by the stands across the cement and gravel and I could visibly see it's head bobbing up and down , and I looked over at my mom and said "That horse is lame ..." and the girl sitting above us leaned down and said "Oh , she's Buted" .. Like it's litterally just normal to Bute up a DEAD lame horse and run it ... Makes me SICK , not to mention that NO person ( But 2) have I ever seen adequately warm up their horse . Everyday I ride this is what I see : Horse unloaded from the trailer , saddle thrown on , bridle on , (sometimes boots) , get on , walk into the arena , walk about 10 feet and start cantering , then either canter until the horse is dripping sweat and then start RUNNING threw patterns (these horses are NEVER ridden but MAYBE once a week so they're not in shape for this type of work ) OR , they come in , canter a little circle and start running threw patterns . This leads me to believe that this is why 7 out of 10 horses are LAME here . So I would like to know what other horse riders think about this & share with me ( I'm going to post all the responses on FB so they all can see what others say since they think I'm crazy for trotting my horse) - how important is it to TROT a horse when warming up ?
--Thanks everybody !!
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post #2 of 63 Old 07-08-2012, 03:29 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Trotting a horse is very important. I warm my mare up on a lunge line at a trot for a good 5 minutes in bother directions, and if she seems comfortable and still full of energy I'll bump her into a canter. I'll lope her for about 5-6 full circles then ask for a trot, then canter again. We did this everyday for about 35-45 minutes.

(This was when I was working her, she's on break until the 14th)

My mustang is lame from not warming up. My dog lost it one day (he NEVER had done this before in his life!) and took off chasing and barking at my horse and seriously frightened him. He took off running, slipped twice, ran into a fence, now he's lame and has been for months. Vet says it will be a while until he's 100% again. Now my dog isn't allowed out with the horses unless he's leashed. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way.

So YES! Warming up at a trot is important.
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post #3 of 63 Old 07-08-2012, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
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What do I think of how the majority of your local gamers condition & warm up theirs mounts?? I can't say it here but that is not the way to treat an athlete, anyone with half a brain could figure that out!
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post #4 of 63 Old 07-08-2012, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Northern California
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I spend a good 15-20 minutes just on walking and trotting to make sure my boy is nice and warm before we do anything else. A vet told me once that a long warm up goes a long to keeping horses sound as they get older. I took it to heart and I don't skimp on my warm ups anymore.

You are never better than anyone. Every rider has skills they need to improve. The only one you must compare yourself with, is you.
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post #5 of 63 Old 07-08-2012, 04:42 PM
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I think warm-up is very important, however I don't see anything terribly wrong with adding canter transition here and there into warm-up (not just trotting).

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #6 of 63 Old 07-08-2012, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Montana, USA
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By the sounds of it, you are going to not well run things... I live in a completely western area. That sounds like the worst of western riding to the extreme.

Everyone, everywhere I go, trots their horses to warm them u. Not just trotting, but they do trot to keep the horse limber.

Trotting is very important in a warm up because when a horse is long trotting, they can extend their muscles and thus not have shortened muscles that tear when all bunched up. I have talked to a bunch of vets who have told me long trotting for a horse does amazing things. My horse got lame from a ligament tear and the vet told us to trot her and not lope her for 2 months and then we could start loping her... She is doing perfectly fine now and has healed great, taking me to place 7th in state in Barrel racing.

And please, please, don't try to think that all Barrel racing and roping is like this. D: Come to a professional rodeo before you start judging western riders.
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Last edited by BubblesBlue; 07-08-2012 at 05:05 PM.
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post #7 of 63 Old 07-08-2012, 05:13 PM
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Location: southern Arizona
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Good point. A wild horse never bolts away from a predator without first warming up with 10 minutes of trotting...
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"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."

Last edited by bsms; 07-08-2012 at 05:15 PM.
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post #8 of 63 Old 07-08-2012, 05:20 PM
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I don't get your point, bsms. That article is based on humans, not horses... Plus, the things horses are asked to do in events, horses are not built to do. HOrses are built to run away, so their bodies can withstand it more. However, horses are not built to get down and turn sharply around barrels... So therefore, we have to do everything we can to keep them from getting hurt.

Last edited by BubblesBlue; 07-08-2012 at 05:22 PM.
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post #9 of 63 Old 07-08-2012, 05:24 PM
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bsms, I too am confused. Also, a wild horse would run thru a fence to save his life, it doesn't mean we shouldn't worry about running our horses thru fences.
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post #10 of 63 Old 07-08-2012, 05:26 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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Yes, it is based on humans - and we have large studies done with humans. I doubt anyone has studied 2700+ horses and their performance and injury rates based on their warm-up practices.

I'd bet there is no significant improvement from 'warming up a horse' vs not warming up, and no significant difference in injury rates. However, with horses, all we'll ever see is likely to be anecdotal evidence.

I've been jogging now for 40 years. I've had people swear that stretching and warming-up are critical to prevent injury, but I've had almost no injuries while jogging/running - and I don't stretch. I will try to walk around a bit before trying any sprints...

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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horses , riding , trot , warm up , western

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