Warming your horse up..... - Page 2

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Warming your horse up.....

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        11-22-2012, 12:19 PM
    I had a horse once who was treated like this, the previous owner had several horses and paid a so-called 'exercise rider' to ride them for her. She would mount and, no joke, immediately break into the canter. It took me months to get her to the point where she wasn't thinking "GO! GO! GO!" as soon as I mounted. It affected her standing still to mount and I had to fix that too. Very, VERY bad habit. That's why anyone buying a horse absolutely needs some basic horsemanship training first.
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        11-22-2012, 08:00 PM
    I warm up primarily to warm up my horse's mind, more so than his body.

    Some days I will lunge for 10 minutes before I get on, doing multiple transitions, working up and down the arena keeping him thinking and engaged.
    Under saddle, I will walk for a good 15 minutes - but not dawdling along on a loose rein. I'll do a lap or too on a long rein, allowing him to stretch down and forward. Then start juggling him left and right off my legs, bending him increasingly deep to unlock his jaw, poll, neck, and back. Followed by millions of walk-halt-walk transitions.
    Same process in trot, and then canter. Riding deep, suppling left and right off both legs.

    My thoughts are that there is not a great deal of point to simply plodding around a bit on the buckle, not expecting anything of the horse. USE your warm up to warm up your horse's mind, and make him supple. Don't just plod around for 20 minutes and assume that he is now ready to meet a contact and work on collection - he will NOT be warmed up sufficiently in this method.
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        11-22-2012, 08:03 PM
    My warm ups with Indie were always really varied. Backing up was the key to getting her back stretching out and getting her under herself. We did lots of flexing, turns on the forehand/hindquarter.. leg yields.. walk/trot transitions.. transitions within the gait.. etc.
        11-23-2012, 09:01 PM
    I might not do it all properly, but I try. I usually do like 5 min walk, only on large circles, then like 5 mins trot on large circles, then walk in smaller and smaller one, leg yielding at walk, trasitions walk-halt-back-walk, then trotting, smaller circles, leg yielding, trot-halt-back- trot, and we often do not canter, so it is like changing only trot and walk.... I do not warm up in canter, we just learn to canter, so if we even canter, just few times, trying to catch the correct lead, if she is very good-mooded that day, we try to ride in canter a whole circle.... in the end we trot on big circeles on longer and longer reins and walk on long reins like 5-8 minutes.
        11-23-2012, 09:46 PM
    Hmm... maybe I don't warm up enough, but then again, both my horse and I are "young adults" and seem alright with it for now, especially given that a 'cold' day is 70*F and he gets turned out in the pasture for hours daily so he gets to move about. If we're doing arena, we walk and trot probably 5-10 minutes to start, do some leg yielding, and then work on the 'hard' stuff for the day (lately trotting proper circles and spirals and trying to get the idea of cantering them down). If we're on the trail, we walk out and go from there. Sometimes it's all walk, sometimes w/t/c/g, depending on the day.

    I actually pay far more attention and time to our cool-down then our warm-up. But then again, that is what I prefer to do as an athlete myself. I never have had much love of warmups and generally feel like they're a waste of good time after the first few minutes. I am sure that will change with age and time though. :)
        11-23-2012, 10:30 PM
    For my endurance horses, I tend to warm up about 30 minutes when I know I'll be going at least 25 miles at 8 mph, or if the terrain is hilly or technical - even if they are in top shape. The first 5 minutes I literally stand on the ground and stretch their legs out (most of the time they lean back and yawn because they like it) and then I get on and spend some time doing some big/long-strided walking with impulsion (like a flatwalk with a gaited horse). Then we trot for awhile around here/there and are good to go at start time.

    For casual riding with friends or around the house (non stressful), I just start out slow and walk/jog along for the first 20 minutes or so as part of my ride, so it works out the same anyway. We always cool down by walking in the last half mile.
        11-23-2012, 10:36 PM
    Wow, everyone is different! Warming up the body and the mind is so important!

    I guess that saying 'You abuse it, you lose it' is something all horse people should become familiar with.
        11-23-2012, 10:47 PM
    I have a few family members who I wish would listen to the advice on this thread .........they act like couch potatoes for weeks and weeks then go outside one weekend and do some crazy project or activity and then are sore and whining for the next three days....go figure!

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