Warmup arena etiquette - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 03-09-2020, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Warmup arena etiquette

Our barn is hosting a small "fun" show this weekend, if it doesn't get cancelled again LOL. My daughter will be riding Moonshine again, and since she knows the ropes now and doesn't need my help, I was thinking about just riding Pony in the warm-up arena, just to sort of see how he does in that environment.

The last show, there were never more than three or four people in the warmup arena at one time; this one will supposedly be bigger. What I'm wondering about is, if there are more people, what is the etiquette of the warmup arena? Does everyone have to go in the same direction at the same time? Do people who are walking use the outside or the inside, or it doesn't matter? How do people work with so many different horses in a small confined space? How can I stay out of the way and be considerate of those who are actually warming up for their class?

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post #2 of 22 Old 03-09-2020, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Also, as a followup, when I first got him, on trails, Pony would actually kick at a horse that got too close behind. Then, later, in group lessons, he would pin his ears and sometimes threaten. I believe I have trained him out of this (he hasn't shown any sign of aggression, not even the slightest pinning of the ears, to any horse when ridden in a group for at least a year) -- should I still put a red ribbon in his tail, just to be on the safe side?

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Last edited by ACinATX; 03-09-2020 at 12:04 PM.
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post #3 of 22 Old 03-09-2020, 12:12 PM
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This is from SHOT (Stock Horse of Texas) which is generally what we (cow horse) follow:



For us, specifically answering your questions ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
Does everyone have to go in the same direction at the same time?
No one has to do anything, but it is proper to go in the direction everyone is going; if you want to change directions, you can call it out. Usually for us, people just change, LOL ... and then everyone changes. Of

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
Do people who are walking use the outside or the inside, or it doesn't matter?
They SHOULD use the inside (see above), but not everyone follows that. You'll find a lot of people do not follow the general rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
How do people work with so many different horses in a small confined space?
You watch out for others. Most people are considerate, but before you do anything, look ahead and see if someone else is trying to do something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
How can I stay out of the way and be considerate of those who are actually warming up for their class?
Follow the general rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
Should I still put a red ribbon in his tail, just to be on the safe side?
There are no red ribbons in cowhorse; it's your responsibility to make sure your horse DOES NOT kick BEFORE you go into the warm up pen. It could be very costly to you if you injure another horse. If my horse had a propensity to kick or was not 100% reliable (would not kick), I would stay out of the warm up pen.
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post #4 of 22 Old 03-09-2020, 12:12 PM
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This is a fun show, so it would largely depend on the organizers. I would ask them.

But honestly, I'd be annoyed if people who are not actually showing were using the warm up ring while there are competing riders in there, especially for the younger riders. It just adds to the chaos and risk. Can you just hang out outside the warm up ring and watch the show with Pony to expose him to the sights and sounds? That way at least you're not interfering with riders who are stressed out and competing. It might even be a liability issue for the barn hosting the show. There are usually rules about non-competing horses on the grounds of a show, but obviously since it's the barn where he lives, they can't tell you not to be there. Out of curtesy, I'd stay out of the way, but the organizers may think it's fine, so it should really be their call.

If you are going in, then yes, normally riders try to go in the same direction if it's a small ring. In a bigger ring, you may be able to use different ends. But if there are riders in there going over jumps, etc. it can get stressful so the less horses in there the better. Each rider should call out the jump well beforehand (they'll shout out "cross-rails" or "vertical" here) so two people don't try to go at it at the same time.
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post #5 of 22 Old 03-09-2020, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
But honestly, I'd be annoyed if people who are not actually showing were using the warm up ring while there are competing riders in there, especially for the younger riders.
Might be good to ask the organizers this as well. For us, people who are not showing or still have a few hours to show typically use the warm up pen. So it's not a big thing for us. However, at a "regular" show, it might be. Doesn't hurt to ask.
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post #6 of 22 Old 03-09-2020, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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@kewpalace thank you for your detailed answers! I like the diagram as well.

@Acadianartist thanks for that POV, I hadn't considered that. I will see the organizer today and I will ask her what she thinks. I have no problem just riding Pony around the grounds. Last time, I took him out on a lead rope. He was pretty up and interested for about five minutes, then he was like "Eh, whatever, ooh look fresh grass" and just grazed. I thought riding him in the warmup arena would be the next step, but maybe just riding him around would be enough.
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post #7 of 22 Old 03-09-2020, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kewpalace View Post
They SHOULD use the inside (see above), but not everyone follows that. You'll find a lot of people do not follow the general rules.
Unfortunately this is also my (very limited) experience. It may have been because I was only at "fun" shows, but many riders did not seem to follow rules... Walking on the outside; switching directions willy nilly, stopping at the rail to chat with someone.... Then add in one rider coming in with his very green stallion, that apparently only refrained form taking off when being shouted at as loud as possible At least with the stallion the organizer finally intervened, as there was a pretty mare with a beginner rider (aka me) that caught the eye of the stallion and he was ready to make his claim

Yes, fun indeed!
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post #8 of 22 Old 03-09-2020, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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@SwissMiss yikes! At least me riding Pony, I shouldn't have that problem. If I do it (will ask organizer, like I said) I will no doubt just stick to the middle and walk. More for my own nerves than for Pony, who I bet will take it all in stride.

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post #9 of 22 Old 03-09-2020, 12:44 PM
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As boarders at this facility you have the right to ride in your arena if you choose whether showing or not.
Depending upon size of the rider/horse turnout though you may decide it is busy enough to just be astride on the grounds with all the excitement going on.
Even though you may not be showing, when a show is happening all riders astride must be wearing approved helmets regardless of age of the rider. That was a AHSA rule that when organizations merged to USEF surely they kept as a safety protocol.

As for ring etiquette...
Customary you ride the same direction, watching for less skilled rider/horses and keep a distance from all unfamiliar animals...
If you need to pass another horse, call-it....inside or outside.
Slower moving horses usually yield the rail for those riding faster gaits.
If you need to change direction, call it loudly and clearly and if your arena has letters yell out "changing direction at letter A"...check to make sure you have room to make that sweeping reverse and do it.
If jumping, call for the jump...crossrail, oxer, combination and watch for others utilizing the ring for cutting across your line of approach.
Warm-up rings can be crazy hectic or just like a normal lesson time of several riders if all work together.
I always went to the warm-up ring with someone on the ground to open and close a entrance gate if their is no gate keeper assigned.
We also would set up a fence or two at my height needed, then return them to lower cross-rails for others to use.
I arrived mounted and left the ring mounted...ready to blend in and ride.
If a rider falls off...quickly pull to a halt, firm halt and face the ring center so you can see all around you.
Stay mounted and hang on cause this is where the fireworks of unruly horses suddenly shows.
If in doubt about Pony kicking...red ribbon his tail. It is your responsibility though to keep others out of his distance of connecting.
Some times just riding on the grounds when a show is ongoing is enough excitement to expose a newbie to the first time.
If you decide to not ride but walk around...bridle and halter over the bridle so you can have more control of him if needed, as needed.
Do not let anyone human or horse touch your horses! This is how horses get sick from germs of another...same as humans keep hands only on your/their horses, no nice horsey petting strangers.
No sniffing poop or tasting by your animals....do not let your horses eat leftover hay on the ground after the show...


Watch were you walk for you and your horses...amazing the items found lying on the ground after a show.
I refer to needles/syringes and empty drug paraphernalia...beware and if you pick anything up be very careful.
Enjoy the day!!
...
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post #10 of 22 Old 03-09-2020, 12:52 PM
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Today like so many other things...show-ring courtesy and etiquette is not taught or enforced by ring stewards..
It should be...
Not saying a stallion is not permitted but use common sense and smarts when you know there are inexperienced in attendance whose skill levels are not expert and the one handling said stallion better be a expert handler of a "up" animal with all the scents he shall be bombarded with...smorgasbord of animals smells galore..
At one time, eons ago...stallions were not permitted to be housed/ridden or handled where junior riders were for safety reasons of unpredictable behaviors due to hormones.
Was a good rule as I've seen good and bad stallions at shows...from attacking fights in a ring to a docile as a lamb...

...

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