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Warming Up

Warming Up

Postby Trudi » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:13 pm

I'm getting some thoughts together for a piece on warming up and what with the discussion on the loading video thread turning to sweating I wondered what you all do to warm up when schooling or hacking?
Today I lunged Chaps before we did some in-hand work and he really needs quite a long warm up before 'real' work commences. We had a few minutes in walk just so I can see how he's moving and then on to lots of trot and canter transitions and some shoulder fore, leg yield, moving turn on the forehand in trot and walk before he really is what I'd call 'through' and ready to work properly in-hand. Similarly if we are riding we do a few circuits in walk and then onto transitions and lateral work for at least 20 minutes before he's ready to go up a gear.
If we are out hacking I like a good steady trot quite early on to get him chilled in his head but warm in his muscles.
So what's your warm up routine?
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Re: Warming Up

Postby fabikat » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:57 pm

I guess my warm-up routine is generally about 20 minutes.

I always start on a long (not loose) rein in walk. Round the arena to check everything out and then add in circles to get him bending a little. Some ly and halt/walk transitions. Then onto trot, again with a longer rein. Circles and serpentines and walk/trot/walk transitions. On and back in trot. Finally canter. Large circles on a longer rein with simple changes through trot. We will then have a walk on a long rein for a time to think and relax, Now I will take up the reins and more or less do the same again, adding trot/halt/trot transitions and walk/canter too. I do add in some rb but although I know it is a really useful movement it is not something I use loads.
Depending on how the warm-up progresses I will adapt and change my ideas but this is a basic general idea of our routine.
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Re: Warming Up

Postby littlewhitehorse » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:34 pm

My "warm up" is usually only for hacking but hopefully will lead to a bit of ID ridden this winter! As I ride and lead, and don't want to have to deal with stiffness or resistance once we're out, and might meet traffic etc. I check flexion and disengagement first on the ground with Fina, then in the saddle, remembering to do the same on both sides. I start close up on the ground then do a bit of driving from the end of the line so I can see she's loosened up. Until I have connection and relaxation on the ground, I don't get on board.
Since riding with the French trainer recently, I realise what is possible in softness, feel and flexion, and the importance of disengagement. His horses are so bendy and relaxed and connected. I'm starting to look for more from mine!
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Re: Warming Up

Postby Trudi » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:17 pm

:thumbup: sounds good Katy, so you don't use much lateral work before Fabi is quite well warmed up? Not a criticism in any way just wanting to get a real feel for what folks are doing.

Sheila is disengagement like a lateral yield?
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Re: Warming Up

Postby fabikat » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:52 am

Trudi wrote:so you don't use much lateral work before Fabi is quite well warmed up?


Trudi, I use ly mainly because I myself am comfortable with it. I do use s.i in the warm-up but as it is still for me something I am not confident with and I tense up, unless I am totally 'in the zone' I leave it for later in the session. I am starting to incorporate it more as time goes on and it gets easier for both of us. I use a si/giravolta on a circle kind of thing quite a lot. Probably not ridden technically correctly but helps us both to loosen up though.
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Re: Warming Up

Postby littlewhitehorse » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:20 am

Trudi wrote:Sheila is disengagement like a lateral yield?


I suppose it's the same thing Trudi; as in yielding the forehand/yielding the hindquarters. The head is tipped to you, the foot steps forward and under & the legs must cross over, and there is flexion in the body, and impulsion, and relaxation not tension. That's what I think I'm looking for anyway.

This sort of thing helps get mental connection as well as physical suppling. What we're aiming for whatever our method is having mental, emotional and physical fitness - in both horse and human. Warming up shouldn't be just physical; we're looking for mental engagement too.
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Re: Warming Up

Postby Trudi » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:16 am

Interesting Sheia that's what I would term engaging not disengaging semantics again I guess and is pretty much classical with the flexion and inside bend. I don't look for crossing more stepping under the cog but otherwise almost the same. Completely agree about the mental relaxation and is something that has taken a very long time to achieve with Chaps but has been well worth it as I can now add in the energy drop by drop.
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Re: Warming Up

Postby littlewhitehorse » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:08 pm

As I understand it, disengaging is taking the power away from the hindquarters; engaging is the opposite. There is often confusion over the terms - I've seen that when it's come up on other forums; maybe depending on which discipline or training method? For the horse to move forward and be powerful he has to engage his hindquarters, so disengaging them means stopping the forward movement and reducing or impeding the power and from the saddle it would be indirect rein position enabling the rider to stop the horse by using one rein and disengaging the hindquarters.
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Re: Warming Up

Postby Tanya » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:25 pm

fabikat wrote:I always start on a long (not loose) rein in walk. Round the arena to check everything out and then add in circles to get him bending a little. Some ly and halt/walk transitions. Then onto trot, again with a longer rein. Circles and serpentines and walk/trot/walk transitions. On and back in trot. Finally canter. Large circles on a longer rein with simple changes through trot. We will then have a walk on a long rein for a time to think and relax, Now I will take up the reins and more or less do the same again, adding trot/halt/trot transitions and walk/canter too. I do add in some rb but although I know it is a really useful movement it is not something I use loads.
Depending on how the warm-up progresses I will adapt and change my ideas but this is a basic general idea of our routine.


I'm not sure if it takes me 20mins but I do most of what Katy does except the cantering stuff mostly do circles I trot. But I think warming up is really important.
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Re: Warming Up

Postby Trudi » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:02 pm

littlewhitehorse wrote:As I understand it, disengaging is taking the power away from the hindquarters; engaging is the opposite. There is often confusion over the terms - I've seen that when it's come up on other forums; maybe depending on which discipline or training method? For the horse to move forward and be powerful he has to engage his hindquarters, so disengaging them means stopping the forward movement and reducing or impeding the power and from the saddle it would be indirect rein position enabling the rider to stop the horse by using one rein and disengaging the hindquarters.


Ah yes Sheila, I have looked at some YouTube video and what you describe, whilst it sounds like what I would call engagement is actually a flipping out of the 1/4's so totally different, I think it's a question of degree.
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