Warmup arena etiquette - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 22 Old 03-09-2020, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Interstellar View Post
Oh dang what a different world that you all live in... Eventing, dressage and H/J shows are vastly different from ranch/western/other shows. The only time I've seen everyone going the same way is in-ring schooling for giant indoor shows like the Maclay finals.

If it's an English type show there really are a very few basic rules people are taught:

Left shoulder to left shoulder ALWAYS. Unless one party is on approach to a jumping obstacle from the rail, then they have right of way.
If you don't follow this expect people to get rude, or trainers to yell at you. That's how I learned the hard way when I was a tween - got screamed at a few times, then I was good. Seriously, Left to Left is god, please follow it.

As said above, those jumping have immediate right of way. Don't cross in front of jumps at all cost with your experience level of warm up rings. You could end up in a dangerous situation for yourself and others.

Don't cross in between jumps unless it is very clear and others aren't actively jumping/setting the jump. It's a small area and even for a pony not enough room to get out of the way of a kick.

Riders can ride in any direction they please. They can do circles, lateral movements, halts etc anywhere. It is your responsibility as another rider to handle this controlled chaos and know how to ride your horse in and around it.

I typically halt in front of the jump if I need to discuss something with my trainer so I'm not in the flow of other traffic for the others using the other two jumps, but if you're going to work on the halt, I'd say stick to the rail so others can ride around you. (the one instance I wouldn't go directly to left to left).

Put a red ribbon in your horse's tail. I don't care if it hasn't struck out at someone in 10 years, it's your job to protect yourself and others. I know in a crowded schooling ring I'd get close to regular horses but give anything with red on it a wide berth just for my safety and theirs. Others I expect to be well schooled horses capable of being in the warm up ring presented at that show - or at least have a trainer looking out for them.

This is what a crowded warm up ring looks like - yours I'm sure won't be any near as hectic or serious, but still it'll give you a feel of what an English ring is like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXO2XhunuuA

Agree with this post. Pass left to left, and keep out of everyone else's way.

Never saw that diagram posted, and there would be a lot of angry Dressage and jumper riders if one tried to enforce that.

Generally, riders are only in the warm up to maybe an hour before their class, so similar level riders are riding at about the same time, depending on how many rings are going on.

Most of the shows I go to have separate warmups for Dressage and jumping, at combined shows. Usually the jumpers will be out on the grass, while dressage have the arena.


If there is a rider practicing upper level movements, generally lower level riders give them preference. Also everyone mostly knows everyone else, so generally one knows who is riding next.

Personally, except for a short time if there is not a lot of people using the warmup, (like lunchtime) I think it is better to keep out. Really intended for warm up. Of course you could always enter a class, for practice. That is what is expected at schooling shows.
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post #22 of 22 Old 06-07-2020, 07:06 AM
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In my experience ring etiquette (at least at large English shows{i.e. 150+ people per show}) there are either several rings to warm up in. In small rings(20m x 40m or smaller{which is a TINY ring size btw}), try to go the same direction, but in larger rings, it really doesn't matter.

If you are going separate directions, pass left shoulder to left shoulder. If passing while going the same direction, call out that you are passing, and pass to the inside. Make it obvious that you are passing, giving the horses around you plenty of room.

Generally, if you are walking/ trotting, while someone else is cantering, you stay on the outside, while the other rider takes the inside (although at some shows it's the opposite), but in general if you are going faster than someone else, go to the inside.

A red ribbon just in case would be good, first, to ensure the safety of horses around you, and to ensure you and Pony are given ample room. Because showing (or just having a lot of new horses around) is much more stressful for both horse and rider than lessons/ trails (keep in mind the other horses & riders who are showing will also be more strung out than usual), he and other horses are more likely to kick out/ act up.

If someone is jumping, stay out of their line, seriously. Upper levels get right of way. If you need to stop, get out of the flow of traffic.

Just call out what you are doing if it will effect someone (i.e. passing from behind where they may not see you), make it obvious where you are and what you're doing/ where you are going so someone can stay out of your way. Everyone does their own thing, and usually everyone's going a different direction, at different speeds, doing different movements, circling, halting, and the occasional bolt or buck. It isn't outright organized, but being aware of yourself, those around you, and communicating with them keeps everyone safe in the chaos.

I've never minded non-competitors using the warm-up, as long as they were not making my job harder. If you being in the warm-up is making it harder on the competitors, maybe ride him nearby, but out of the ring, or hand walk him.

Basically, just be aware of whats going on around you and what you're doing, and talk to the competitors/ ring masters(they can be gruff, but it's their job, and they're always willing to help or answer questions).

Good Luck!

Last edited by elequine11; 06-07-2020 at 07:21 AM.
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