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Warm up ring? More like wind up ring!

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  • Warm up ring? More like wind up ring!

    I volunteered at my first PVDA show this weekend. Had a blast, learned alot, will do more. I have one concern though. I'm a high strung person by nature and while I was ring stewarding I imagined myself in the warm up ring just getting more and more wound up. Anyone else have this problem? Any solutions? Am I just getting ahead of myself?

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

  • #2
    What was winding you up? The thought of the competition following the warm up? Or the idiots not paying attention to normal ring rules when in the warm up ring?
    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh BTDT! I find having someone with me -- preferably a trainer or coach, but even my cool-as-a-cucumber husband is good -- helps a lot. It can get a little frenetic so "eyes up!" is really important to avoid crashes... Try to identify "problem" horses/riders before you go in and keep away from them.
      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Velvet, the thing that would wind me up would definitely be the anticipation of competition. I'm going to do what quietann suggests and go in a group from my barn. Oh and take lots and lots of vitamin B.

        I guess it's like my boy Carl Hester says; do lots and lots of shows to get the nerves under control.

        Paula
        He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

        Comment


        • #5
          Definitely find a groom to help you, someone who who is willing to do everything you need help with. I'd suggest finding this person now, and start working on a list of what will need to be done from a few days before to loading for home and putting horsie to bed. Someone with show experience would be great-whether as rider or groom. Ive had my groom read my tests, and she kindly practiced this with me beforehand, so it was soothing to have a familiar voice reading.

          I found it hard to be very social the hour before I mounted, so I made sure I found something solitary to do to avoid crowds and having to make small talk, whether it was sitting in the tack stall going over my test or listening to myusic or polishing tack or boots.

          But no matter what you do, you WILL be nervous at first. How it affects tour ride will help you determine your protocol for the next show. Experienceis the best teacher, amen!

          by the way, good for you for volunteering! Whether volunteering or simply spectating, you can get more of an idea of what its all about. Poking around in the trailer or stabling area is also fun and productive. I'm one who is calmer when all her ducks are in a row, so the more prepared I am, the better my tests went.

          Comment


          • #6
            What works for me:

            I have a great coach who helps me stay on track with timing, are they running behind, etc. I showed a ton growing up so showing itself does not concern me. I have a very easy horse to warm up- we rode First one this weekend for the first time and 75% of my warm up was at a walk, stretching him laterally...then a little gaiting, then two canters in each direction, for a total of maybe one lap in a large arena. Done. She calls my tests and does it well, so I have nothing to worry about there. I prepare for the maneuver at hand, I ride it, then I ride the next one. If you try to think of the whole thing in a wad, it will be a wad. Anticipating too much what happens if- is pointless. If he hops out of the ring he hops out of the ring. He's much more alive and forward and tense in the arena, so my goal is deep breathing, helping him....I don't think about me at all, other than to check my breathing and position....I don't know, it just gets kinda zen out there for me

            The only dressage show I've fallen apart at is one I attended without her, where my DH and a friend came and sorta helped. It was bad! I would have been better off 100% alone, and finding a friend there to call the test. Bad help is worse than none

            Comment


            • #7
              Plan your ride, ride your plan. Just school. Take your time. Get on early and wander the grounds. Then warm up a little, then wander some more. No jacket on yet, etc. Just hang out. Then go back, do your warm up for real, with plenty of time to get in the ring, and then just ride off to the ring and start your test. If you make it a big deal in your head now, it will be an even bigger deal when you show.

              Just think of it all as schooling. No pressure. Just something you need to teach your horse.

              Oh, and avoid the DQs or get pissy with them and tell them off if they almost mow you down. That will keep you from being nervous. You'll be to annoyed to be nervous.
              "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

              Comment


              • #8
                Hopefully your trainer can warm you up and read for you. But shizzle happens, so its good to have a backup reader who has done it before, preferably one you're familiar with.

                And never never allow a friend to persuade you to take a pharmaceutical to calm you down. Especially if you've never taken that pharmaceutical. Especially when you're jumping.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  You guys are awesome! I'm keeping everything you've said in mind. I can just see myself winding up poor Fella otherwise LOL!

                  Paula
                  He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, Velvet knows that with my horse, I have reason to be "wound up" in my warmup, but it has more to do with my hot horse and dodging idiots who think passing within six inches at an extended trot or refusing to follow ring etiquette because their $$$$ horse is worth more than mine is perfectly acceptable. As to my nerves, unless one has an "explosive" horse, I find that my eventing background serves to make me pretty "non-wound up." To my mind, competition nerves are for bef. x-country. Dressage is the non-life-threatening (usually) phase of competition. I might embarass myself, but nervous....nah. Fortunately, if I survive warmup, we usually can get through a test okay. If he's tense,the score will reflect it, but we usually don't totally blow or leave the arena, etc. If he relaxes (which he usually, but not always does) then we're home free. *G* I still laugh at the comment I got on my test a the RAAC: "A big, talented horse who is not focused today." Yup, I noticed that! LOL

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      YES!!!

                      Originally posted by Velvet View Post
                      Plan your ride, ride your plan. Just school. Take your time. Get on early and wander the grounds. Then warm up a little, then wander some more. No jacket on yet, etc. Just hang out. Then go back, do your warm up for real, with plenty of time to get in the ring, and then just ride off to the ring and start your test. If you make it a big deal in your head now, it will be an even bigger deal when you show.

                      Just think of it all as schooling. No pressure. Just something you need to teach your horse.

                      Oh, and avoid the DQs or get pissy with them and tell them off if they almost mow you down. That will keep you from being nervous. You'll be to annoyed to be nervous.
                      However, if the DQ is trying to run you down on your pony feel free to throw your reins away, put your hands in the air and Yell I SURRENDER!!! It does work.
                      Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                      Originally Posted by alicen:
                      What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Sandy,

                        Funny you should mention Eventer-cool. We had one eventer (that I knew of) competing in the dressage ring. You're right; she was so cool. It was very different because more than likely you see someone making their horse rein lame because he's so compressed in front for fear he'd take off or explode or something. She so didn't care so her horse was so relaxed and forward. I joked that she probably was thinking, "Eh, so he takes off; we can clear the barn half doors at the end easy"

                        I want dressage chops, but eventer courage please.

                        Paula
                        He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm always more nervous "imagining" myself in the warmup ring than me actually riding in the warmup ring.

                          You see, when you watch other people warm up and imagine yourself there, you have way too much time in your hand and brain and end up imagining all that might happen. When you are actually riding, you are too busy riding to worry about all those things.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by leilatigress View Post
                            However, if the DQ is trying to run you down on your pony feel free to throw your reins away, put your hands in the air and Yell I SURRENDER!!! It does work.
                            My Qh will just take the hit, and that really throws the Ring Warriors off!

                            For my sister's high strung horse's FEI debut, I used my QH as a warm up 'blocker' for the big guy. There was one other rider who kept passing too close, and the big guy would get upset.
                            Enter the QH Enforcer. Want to pass 6" from me? Fine. But I might practice my trot-halt right in your warpath.

                            In all seriousness, I find that a ring person (groom, SO, trainer, etc) to keep track of how the rings are running, who you follow, which test your doing, talking you down from the ledge, reminding you that this is fun, etc is the single most important thing.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Two very true posts;

                              1. I was watching them in the warm up ring imagining my fears. Quite right.

                              2. Fella is a big guy so I'm going to take a page from amm2cd and take refuge in his size. He looks like a line backer and I'm a big Black girl so I'll throw in my Sister Scowl grrrrr.

                              Paula
                              He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Well, my horse is 17.3 and he ain't petite, but still got run down several times because he's, um, reactive. And someone's daughter really wanted to win. On the plus side, it resulted in the now-famous Porpoise PSG, which is a good story and still scored decently. Plus, the Flipper-esque soundtrack was a nice break from the elevator music.

                                In all seriousness, LOOK UP when you ride in the warmup. Be conscious of your relative position in the warmup and of those around you. Ride predictable lines so people don't have to slam on the brakes when you make a turn. Call your lines if you foresee an issue (or, if you're me on The Galloping Seacow, your brakes are sometimes an issue once you hit the Extended Trot button).

                                Practice riding with other people in the ring. Focus on you and the warmup you need, but realize that other people are also in the ring.

                                And for the love of all that is holy, if you see a big bay gelding with a crooked stripe porpoising his way around the warmup somewhere in PA, do not cut him off or clip too close by. His rider's going through enough, thank you very much.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Okay, you just made me LOL in the teacher's lounge. Now I've got to see a picture of the galloping porpoise!

                                  Paula
                                  He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    the warm up ring can be a bit nerve wracking at times

                                    if you and Fella are both new to showing you might want to either borrow and been there done that for your first show or have someone relaxed show Fella for his first show if you are worried your nerves will get the best of you

                                    also go to schooling shows to watch or even open shows to just go in classes and warm ups with out the worry of showing more of practice in your mind

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      I can have someone show Fella? How does that work?

                                      Paula
                                      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by amm2cd View Post
                                        My Qh will just take the hit, and that really throws the Ring Warriors off!

                                        For my sister's high strung horse's FEI debut, I used my QH as a warm up 'blocker' for the big guy. There was one other rider who kept passing too close, and the big guy would get upset.
                                        Enter the QH Enforcer. Want to pass 6" from me? Fine. But I might practice my trot-halt right in your warpath.

                                        In all seriousness, I find that a ring person (groom, SO, trainer, etc) to keep track of how the rings are running, who you follow, which test your doing, talking you down from the ledge, reminding you that this is fun, etc is the single most important thing.
                                        Well the DQ that tried to run down the DD on the pony was having a bit of break issues combined with his rider humping his back like a monkey while trying desperately to rolker around the ring. Pony is all of 11 hands and is convinced he is 18 hands. If it had been a pasture setting my money would have been on the pony but he's not allowed to 'man up' with a kiddo aboard. When DD dropped her reins at the extended trot and threw up her hands yelling I SURRENDER she was frustrated and scared. DQ had chased poor pony across the ring and had ears back making all kinds of mean faces. Pony headed straight for trainer who made good use of the crop and dominatrix pose that stopped big boy in his tracks. (She didn't hit the horse or the rider though I likely would have.) Since then we usually warm him up on the lunge line with DD on a taller horse or if that's not possible we'll use other riders from our barn to create a buffer zone.
                                        Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                                        Originally Posted by alicen:
                                        What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.

                                        Comment

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