HomeExpert AdviceArticleWarm-up etiquette

Warm-up etiquette

Posted in Flatwork Riding Schooling and Training

Are you heading to your first show or just feeling a bit ring-rusty? Getting things right in the warm-up is the first step on the road to a rosette. Horse&Rider shows you how

We all know how annoying it is when there are too many people in the warm-up arena. Help reduce bottlenecks by sorting out all your tack and equipment before you enter the warm-up, and if you want to stand for a while, avoid doing so in the arena – instead, find a quiet spot out of the way.

If you stop to check tack or the running order, look around before moving off, and check before making sudden changes of rein to avoid collisions with other riders.

Staying attentive may seem obvious, but many accidents in the warm-up arena are caused by riders not paying attention to what’s going on around them.

If the collecting ring is really busy, it’s a good idea to call out which practice fence you are approaching. This helps other competitors know your intentions and stay out of your way.

Avoid crossing the approach or landing of a fence without checking for anyone intending to jump.

Tail ribbons are essential if you have an inexperienced horse or one who may kick. Young or inexperienced horses should wear a green ribbon in their tail. Horses who are known to kick, or who you think may kick, should wear a red ribbon in their tail. A ribbon in your horse’s tail does not guarantee other riders will give you more space, and it is still your responsibility to stay alert and avoid putting your horse in a situation where he may kick out or react badly.

Always give way to people going at a faster gait – essentially this means never walking or halting on the track. Remember that riders doing lateral work also have priority over the outside track.

Always pass left to left when meeting a rider coming the other way − with the exception of if you are walking. This means that you avoid the possibility of a collision, which will cause stress to your horse – as well as the person you collide with! Make sure you leave space when passing other riders in case either horse kicks or
is nervous.

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