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  1. #1
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    Jun. 4, 2009
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    Question Warm Up Ring - "Godlen Rules"

    I saw the post on the warm-up ring etiquette.

    If you were trying to teach someone this, what would the "5 golden rules" that you would tell them to follow/look for in a warm-up ring setting be?
    I told you: "inside leg to outside rein, not inside leg to outside rail!"



  2. #2
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    1. Look up. Attempt to avoid horses and humans- even if they are not following the rules.

    2. If two riders are working in opposite directions, pass left shoulder to left shoulder.

    3. Circles should be to the inside of the rail- with room for at least 1 (hopefully 2) horses to pass you on the outside. Diagonals end to the inside of the rail so that someone can pass you on the outside, unless there is no one anywhere near you.

    4. If you are warming up or cooling down at the walk on a loose rein- find someplace other than the warm-up ring to do it. If it is unavoidable (almost impossible), stay 2 horse widths inside the track so someone can pass to the outside.

    5. If in doubt, call where you are going. Some people aren't following rule 1, or might not recognize that you are trying counter canter a loop. Feel free to yell out "inside" "outside" or "name of movement" at any time in order to avoid confusion. Do it far enough in advance that the other person doesn't have to slam on the brakes to avoid you. Similarly, calling something does not give you the right to screw up what 5 other people are doing just because you said so.



  3. #3
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    Sep. 12, 2007
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    1. apply the "bunny rule" of the ski slopes. If you ride better than the other people in the ring, it is your responsibility not to kill them.



  4. #4
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    I think you should go to at least 1 show with the sole purpose of watching the warm-up ring. I mean really watching. If it is completely new to you, it's very difficult. You need to spend an afternoon (at the least) seeing how, 'that person just came across the diagonal, did you see what the other rider did?' stuff. It's one of those things that you need to do to really learn it, but having watched it up close can keep you out of some trouble. Also ride in the warm-up during times when it's not so busy. Around here an hour before training level starts is NOT the time to try the warm-up ring! Most of all, look up and around you constantly.
    Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!



  5. #5
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    Apr. 29, 2008
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    I usually try to find other places to actually "warm up" before heading to the warm up, haha. If there's anything last minute you really want to work on, you should probably not attempt it in a crowded warm up ring.

    joiedevie - I hadn't heard the left shoulder to left shoulder rule, but it would be a useful "rule." I usually just try to politely avoid others (usually to the inside) if I'm going the opposite direction from most. I also like the loose rein comment - don't do it in a warm up ring, it's just asking for trouble, and it's rude. You can likely find someplace else to walk around on a loose rein.

    1) Look up!
    2) Generally avoid passing on the rail (unless it's someone doing figures of some sort where it's obvious you'll take the rail). It's usually a better idea to go on the inside. If you must pass on the rail, call "rail" or something like that.
    4) If you're doing figures, keep track of where others in the ring are and do your best not to hog the whole ring. This may mean making slightly wobbly circles or diagonals, but that's stuff you should have down before the show. Also, do it in the center not on the rail.
    3) Definitely utilize the bunny slope rule - if you're clearly the better rider, give the other rider their space
    4) If your horse is a total pill, try to find someplace else to get him calmed down first = ) Not always doable, but try, haha.
    5) Again, when in doubt, use your voice!
    6) Generally, what joiedevie said, haha
    7) LOOK UP! If you keep your eyes open, you can avoid almost any nasty situation. It's often not that hard to figure out where someone else is going, especially if they're schooling dressage patterns. If they're coming across the diagonal, expect them to go all the way to the rail; they may not, but prepare for it - cut across the ring, do a circle, whatever. It's good for you and the horse to stay on your toes.
    8) Coaches - stay outside of the ring if it's very busy, or keep your eyes up too! Again, find another place to school if you really need to "school" and not just warm up.
    9) Don't work your horse in the warm up ring during show hours unless you're about to show - that's VERY rude and many shows have rules about that. That's what lunch breaks, early mornings, and late nights are for = ) Also, unless there's no other option, please don't bring your horse in to warm up an hour before you show... Warm up hogging is not polite.
    10) You WILL get cut off, and you WILL have horses coming way way closer than they should. Get your horse used to this stuff at home. Practice having horses come up his butt and get too close, or you'll be in for a rude awakening at a horse show. He needs to know that no matter how cramped he feels, kicking or otherwise freaking out is not an option and that he must trust you to keep him safe.



  6. #6
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    Feb. 23, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by narcisco View Post
    1. apply the "bunny rule" of the ski slopes. If you ride better than the other people in the ring, it is your responsibility not to kill them.
    I like this!



  7. #7
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    Mar. 9, 2006
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    Don't stop ON the rail. Don't WALK on the rail.

    Definitely left to left.

    And some of us have horses that LOVE "Prepare for RAMMING speed" ;-)



  8. #8
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    Oct. 11, 2007
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    I actually think we'd be better off letting folks walk on the rail, with those going faster passing to the inside.

    BTW -- some months ago I posted about whether it would be appropriate to put a red ribbon in my mare's tail for warm-up, since she occasionally kicks out at other horses if they get too close. Got reamed by some folks for even thinking of showing such an "ill mannered disobedient horse", which is funny in retrospect because it's so untrue, and cheered on by others who would like to know that a horse in warm-up might kick. I ended up not using the ribbon for the several shows we attended, and we were fine; she only kicked out once, and that was at a horse whose rider was so wrapped up in her warm-up that she didn't see *anyone* and was nearly on top of us when maresy kicked out. Luckily no connection was made. I did verbally warn a couple of people to not get any closer. But maresy was actually very good, more distracted than anything else. I'm now trail riding her with other horses, and she's not kicked out once, and only rarely pinned her ears.



  9. #9
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    Jan. 4, 2000
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    No, actually, I think it's very dangerous for people to walk or halt on the rail. If a horse bolts, they get slammed into. Big time. Leave the outside for the faster moving horses. The smaller area more to the center the slower moving horses are in the better. The rider can't get them out of the way or react as fast as a faster moving horse.

    It's quite true that the more focused and hard working they are, the less they are likely to kick. But it's also VERY true that those with horses that tend to kick, wear red tail ribbons.

    I used to have a kicker and a friend said I should have had this put on the back of my shirt - 'Tailgate at your own risk!'



  10. #10
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    Nov. 6, 2008
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    "Godlen Rules"?

    'Nuff said!



  11. #11
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    Sep. 12, 2007
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    I think he meant gol-durn rules.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by quietann View Post
    I actually think we'd be better off letting folks walk on the rail, with those going faster passing to the inside.

    BTW -- some months ago I posted about whether it would be appropriate to put a red ribbon in my mare's tail for warm-up, since she occasionally kicks out at other horses if they get too close. Got reamed by some folks for even thinking of showing such an "ill mannered disobedient horse", which is funny in retrospect because it's so untrue, and cheered on by others who would like to know that a horse in warm-up might kick. I ended up not using the ribbon for the several shows we attended, and we were fine; she only kicked out once, and that was at a horse whose rider was so wrapped up in her warm-up that she didn't see *anyone* and was nearly on top of us when maresy kicked out. Luckily no connection was made. I did verbally warn a couple of people to not get any closer. But maresy was actually very good, more distracted than anything else. I'm now trail riding her with other horses, and she's not kicked out once, and only rarely pinned her ears.
    Walking ON the rail. Stopping On the rail causes anyone who is 'working' to weave in and out of traffic. BAD idea.

    My 1500 lb horse ended up RAMMING into a 800 lb horse because that rider decided to STOP on the rail coming toward us (we were on the left rein, they were on the right) and while staring in the side mirror. Guess who ended up hurting more. (Except for my knee...) There just was not time to stop or pull out.



  13. #13
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    Sep. 10, 2009
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    Need some advice...Other than follow those known unwritten rules (left to left, circle inside off the rail, etc), what are some suggestions for using the warm-up ring with a young horse at his first dressage show? I believe folks will quickly catch on (ahem ) that he is young and can be a bit snarky...but is there any sort of traditional thing I can do to alert people that he may suddenly have a melt-down?
    You can either be a good example or just a really horrible warning...



  14. #14
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    Oct. 11, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by klicup View Post
    Need some advice...Other than follow those known unwritten rules (left to left, circle inside off the rail, etc), what are some suggestions for using the warm-up ring with a young horse at his first dressage show? I believe folks will quickly catch on (ahem ) that he is young and can be a bit snarky...but is there any sort of traditional thing I can do to alert people that he may suddenly have a melt-down?
    Well, in hunter-land (foxhunter land) a green ribbon in the tail means "green horse!" I bet at least some of your warm-up companions would appreciate that and avoid you. Of course you'd have to remember to remove the ribbon before you compete...



  15. #15
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    What Joiedevie99 said. But also what QuietAnn said. it is not uncommon for people to walk on the rail and let the faster traffic go the the inside. The reason is that people trotting and cantering are often 'working' -circling, doing movements, using the diagonal, etc. If they are already on the inside track they do not have to cross anyone's track to do movements. I usually walk on the rail to avoid getting in the way of people doing movements that require room. Stopping at the rail is a big no-no.

    Left shoulder to left shoulder is a good guideline but can be a difficult rule, in my experience. I have almost collided with people making SURE they were going to be on my left side.

    Personally, I think the big 5 would be:

    1. LOOK UP and watch where you are going. Look around you if you are going to initiate a movement or a bent line of travel. Avoid people actively. Make eye contact.

    2. Commit to a line of travel! In other words, if you are doing something, keep doing it. Most people around you are riding around your predicted path. Do not ride a half-pass zig zag in a crowded warmup. Do not start an extension across the diagonal only to walk at x and change direction.

    3. Notice the poorly controlled horses and riders when you enter the warm-up and actively avoid them. If you are on the poorly controlled horse, consider leaving that warmup ring and finding a quieter place.

    4. Call your line of travel. Who cares if you sound silly. Call "outside" and "inside", especially when passing. Make eye contact when possible so you know people heard you.

    5. Don't take it all so seriously. If someone is stopped a the rail, consider saying "please don't stop at the rail" with a smile rather than "GET OFF THE FREAKIN' RAIL". Most people would reply "oh, I'm really sorry". Lots of people are overly stressed or nervous or so focused that they forget themselves or 'the rules'. Be pleasant. At least it will keep you in a pleasant mood for your ride...the most important part of the show!



  16. #16
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    Apr. 20, 2006
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    How 'bout posting etiquette rules on the gates into the warm-up area? In BIG letters.
    www.moranequinephoto.com
    "If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom."
    Byron



  17. #17
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    Jan. 4, 2000
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    Need some advice...Other than follow those known unwritten rules (left to left, circle inside off the rail, etc), what are some suggestions for using the warm-up ring with a young horse at his first dressage show? I believe folks will quickly catch on (ahem ) that he is young and can be a bit snarky...but is there any sort of traditional thing I can do to alert people that he may suddenly have a melt-down?

    --Depends on what 'a bit snarky' means. If it means you really cannot control and steer, you shouldn't be at the show. If the horse really is a danger, stay home til he is not. You can school your horse at home in a group, and get him used to steering and turning in traffic, and you should do that before you go to a horse show.

    --If there are no groups at your barn, you can haul him to where there are groups riding. Just be sure it's a bunch of hardened eventers or the like who aren't going to be terrified or fall off when Junior starts doing his little moves or you start responding with the 'No, no, naughty horsey' things, like using your leg and your whip with energy and purpose.

    --But.....youngsters do sometimes act up at shows even after a lot of practice at home, even when they really are doing well in traffic at home. You need to work with a trainer who will teach you what to do and have you practice each reaction before a show.

    --If the horse is just really kicking out every time anyone gets near him, you don't have enough control to go to a horse show.

    --Young horses, what they often do, is tend to slow down when they're in front of other horses, they don't like to lead, and they tend to sort of slide over toward other horses when they get close, and they tend to go much faster to catch up to other horses when they are behind. They tend to want to stop and poop if they see a pile of horse poop in the ring, too.

    --So they always try really hard to stay with the herd, except when it comes to pooping on that tempting pile.

    --And of course, as is so delightfully ironic with young horses, they do everything they possibly can to get close to the other horses, and then they want to pin their ears and kick at them. LOL. Ah. That's just how things are.

    --You may have to do what we have done in the past, set up a schooling situation at home where horsey is tempted to do each of these things, and over and over and over, you punish your horse, very firmly. He needs to maintain a steady rhythm, not put on the brakes every time he's in the lead, or rush every time a horse is in front of him, or slow down away from the gate and rush toward it.

    --And he ESPECIALLY needs to not slide over when another horse is along side him. And you have to be very tough about insisting he doesn't pull that, not even one millimeter, even if it means he needs to get whacked on the shoulder with the whip and kick the bejesus out of him.

    --Those are the 4 things youngsters do, and yeah, really, you really do have to have control of all that before you go to a show.

    --Still, stuff happens, and you need to react just the same way you react at home during all the schooling you will have done.



  18. #18
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    Mar. 29, 2003
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    What a minute - there are actually people who think that you a) shouldn't tie a red ribbon in a horses tail if it kicks because b) if it does it shouldn't be there in the first place?
    Are you freakin' kidding me???
    First of all if a horse has shown even the slightest inclination to kick at other horses (and a lot of horses do) I would definitely want the ribbon in said horses tail so that I can be extra cautious. Secondly, just because a horse shows that propensity doesn't mean it should be banned from the warm-up. My horse is trained to the nines but does get upset when other horses come near his hind end. I'm a good rider and he's a great horse but should we not warm-up? If someone told me that I'd find a new and creative use for my Dressage whip over someone's head.

    Just sayin'....



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fargonefarm View Post
    What a minute - there are actually people who think that you a) shouldn't tie a red ribbon in a horses tail if it kicks because b) if it does it shouldn't be there in the first place?
    Are you freakin' kidding me???
    First of all if a horse has shown even the slightest inclination to kick at other horses (and a lot of horses do) I would definitely want the ribbon in said horses tail so that I can be extra cautious. Secondly, just because a horse shows that propensity doesn't mean it should be banned from the warm-up. My horse is trained to the nines but does get upset when other horses come near his hind end. I'm a good rider and he's a great horse but should we not warm-up? If someone told me that I'd find a new and creative use for my Dressage whip over someone's head.

    Just sayin'....
    There was a whole thread on this in the dressage forum. You'd be surprised what peoples' opinons on the subject are...



  20. #20
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    You know the walking on or off the rail is an interesting one. I have done both and I am not convinced either is a better way to go.

    If you walk on the rail, you are on other people's ways, but the faster horses can pass you easily from the inside. This is what "pass on the inside" rule apply. Walking on the rails make other riders' jobs to pass you easier.

    If you walk off the rail, it is less likely that you are on other people's ways, or you may just make it more dangerous. Because now the faster horse will have to squeeze between you and the rail, or to really veer inside to avoid you. If the warmup ring is huge and is not so crowded, this is no problem. But in a crowded warmup ring, when multiple horses try to veer inside to avoid a rider that is walking off the rail, it can be quite chaotic.



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