01-18-2013, 09:41 AM
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The warmup routine I use is not dicipine specific, its to warm up the horse's muscles and most importantly make sure the horse is in the correct mental attitude. It does not "wear the horse out". When I first mount, we walk a circle with the horse's head bent in the direction of travel. One he is relaxed in that direction, we bend straight to the other direction. If your horse doesn't feel like playing, you already have his head bent and can circle him to a stop without a big rodeo. Once he is relaxed in the circles, we drift out to the fence and walk a lap each direction. Then pick up the posting trot for a lap or two each direction. I let the horse tell me when he is relaxed. Trot a couple of circles, drift out the the fence and pick up the lope for a lap and do a drop to trot lead change each direction. Then walk the horse some more with drifting and counter flexing a circle. At different points of the trot and lope I'll ask for the stop and back the horse. Sometimes I'll throw in a roll back during the lope and finish off the warmup with pivots over the forehand and hocks. No rundowns to a sliding stop, no flying lead changes, and no other "rock and roll" drills. They will excite the horse and the goal of the warmup is to relax the horse and get them ready for what ever it is you're going to do.