Warm Up/Cool Down - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-09-2011, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Warm Up/Cool Down

What does everyone do for their warm up and cool down? For a warm up I go through the different paces of a walk and work on a lot of bending and movement. Figure 8s serpentines. Stuff like that. Then I slowly work up to the rest of our ride by transitions etc.

For a cool down I will transition back down to a walk. I still like to do the serpentines and figure 8s to keep his muscles from tensing up or having an acid build up. We then will walk for a few minutes to be sure that he is cooled off, sometimes this will be bareback because I can work on my seat and I think it feels good for him to not have a saddle on. Or we will go for a walk around the property back to the barn the longer way.

I warm up for probably 15 minutes and cool down for probably 15 minutes.

Whats your routine?

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post #2 of 12 Old 11-09-2011, 07:13 PM
Green Broke
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Most of the places I have kept my horse at have been a decent distance to the arena, so by the time I rode their we were getting warm, and then might do a bit of walking in the arena, circles and turns. Then move onto trotting.

Cooling down is usually a walk around the area, generally not in the arena.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-09-2011, 08:25 PM
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I have a very athletic built and young quarter horse. I warm him up for only about five or ten minuets. I just round barrels at a walk then a slow trot until i feel that hes pumped up. I also work with a 21 year old quarter horse gelding and a 19 year old QH mare. I warm them both up for about 15 to 20 mins. My prefrence is to do a set warmup routine each time. I walk three times around the barrels then on the fourth lap i trot on one "edge" of the triangle then walk the rest. Then the fifth lap i run two "edges" and then walk the rest. Then the sixth through the ninth lap I trot. I have my barrels set up WAY far apart for I only use them for excercise and training and not racing. Even if you dont have barrels or a lot of space, just a good long standardized warmup seems to be the best for me. For a cool down I usually just walk a large rectangle lap for about ten mins with my young gelding and for about fifteen with the others. I think the cooldown is more important, especially with my very hot gelding.

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post #4 of 12 Old 11-09-2011, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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I ride english so no barrels. My boy is a 17 year old OTTB with a tiny bit of arthritis so that is why i keep it closer to 15 minutes rather then less minutes.

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post #5 of 12 Old 11-09-2011, 08:40 PM
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My warm up consists of walking, extended & collected. Then circles, both directions. I do this at the trot as well. Cool down is long walking on a buckle rein until the horse complete drops his head and will walk in the direction of my leg & seat cues alone.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-09-2011, 08:43 PM
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Even English. Its the concept of having a planned out procedure so you dont forget to warm the horse up properly. Work with your horse and identify things that need more attention than others. Then work out a procedure that suits the horses needs and your riding style

When all else fails.... RIDE!
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-09-2011, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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I could definitely pretend i have barrels there, or maybe ill dig the cones out of the garage.

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post #8 of 12 Old 11-09-2011, 08:58 PM
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I like doing circles, serpentines, figure 8's at a walk, trot and canter. I also like warming him up with lateral stuff like light leg yields. I try to get him really responsive to my leg and stuff along those lines before I start his "lesson" of the day. I usually take 10-20 minutes to do this because my horse needs a long warmup or else his back will get sore. For a cool down... Honestly I'm really bad about cooling him out, I just walk him around on the buckle doing circles until he has caught his breath and isn't hot.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-09-2011, 10:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Depends on the horse.
The 26 y/o I ride often gets worked deep and low for his warm-up. Usually we hack out beforehand on a loose rein, then come in the arena, trot a little bit, then canter and add in some counter canter in his deep stretch, then he's pretty good to go. Since he's pretty fit right now his warm-ups take a little less time.

With the vast majority of horses I ride there's a 10-15 minute hack on a loose rein to begin, then they're off to either do trot sets around the property, or have a flat or jump school in the ring. If they're working in the ring the frame they warm up in is entirely dependent on the individual horse, but I try to include a good deal of trot and canter, more of one or the other depending on the horse.

Edit: Cool down is usually a 15-20 minute walk-hack on a loose rein. ;)

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post #10 of 12 Old 11-11-2011, 02:11 PM
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Depends on what we are doing. Warm up at events is a bit of trotting and alot of loping. Cool down is a bit of walking.

At home, walking and trotting to warm up. Cooling is lateral work.
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