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How do you warm up

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  • How do you warm up

    How does everyone warm up for stadium?

    I usually tend to be a bundle of nerves so I want to get everything over with as fast as possible. I'll WTC in each direction, jump each fence twice, then head over and hopefully straight in. If I'm feeling extra barfy I probably need to be talked into jumping that lone airy oxer, when out on course the filled in oxers look much less scary.

    Now that I'm feeling more confident I still do the same thing. My pony hasn't been jumping for too long but she's really settled in and I don't see any reason to jump her more. I'm of the opinion that whatever I have not been able to fix before the show isn't going to be fixed in the warm up. The warm up ring with its plain rails and usually different footing doesn't mimic the show ring. I am also of the opinion that if I scare myself in the warmup I'm not going to show jump right anyway, and I don't want to be run over which seems highly likely at my weanie level. I also attend one day CTs so I've already warmed up for and ridden dressage.

    Maybe I'm doing it wrong because I see people galloping around and jumping fences multiple times to get them right. I'm usually warmed up, competed, and untacked before some people are in the ring.

  • #2
    Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
    I am also of the opinion that if I scare myself in the warmup I'm not going to show jump right anyway, and I don't want to be run over which seems highly likely at my weanie level. I also attend one day CTs so I've already warmed up for and ridden dressage.

    Maybe I'm doing it wrong because I see people galloping around and jumping fences multiple times to get them right. I'm usually warmed up, competed, and untacked before some people are in the ring.
    I'm pretty sure I've seen an article or interview that talks about Mary King doing <6 fences in warm up and keeping it simple/low to give the horses confidence before they go in. I will see if I can find it.


    • #3
      Found it! http://eventingnation.com/samanthalc...ng-riding.html EN Notes from MK's speech to Area VIII.

      "At Rolex last spring, she only had one jumping saddle for both horses, and seven horses between her two rides; she jumped four fences on Kings Temptress, none big, and when the warm up steward, present at the AGM remarked on it, Mary explained that at a 3 Day Event she would never jump more than six fences, that William Fox-Pitt and many others are similar, and that especially with Tess (Kings Temptress) who is not the best jumper but tries so hard, she feels it’s far more important for her to go into the ring having cleared a few practice jumps, albeit small, rather than having made an effort over some big fences, knocked them down and become demoralised – the confidence factor again. "


      • #4
        I go in, do a bit of trot warm up, making sure the horse is listening to my leg with shoulder in, some counter flexion then pop into a canter make sure the horse is adjustable in their stride and listening so a bit of forward and collect. Jump each jump maybe 2 times, I'll have another If I really stuff up one. Then go in. I don't like to jump too much in the warm up.


        • #5
          Mr asterix is the warmup steward at our recognized events, and he would tell you that overall, the more experienced the rider, the more efficient the warmup. That is not to say that all of the pros are in and out in 5 minutes -- some are, but I am sure there are horses that need to settle or what not -- but the rider divisions consistently warm up longer.
          When we get into novice or beginner novice, he always has to turn riders away who show up 45 minutes before their ride time. We have limited space to jump, so cannot allow 20 horses in there at a time. If you really need to canter around for a half an hour before you jump, you can do it somewhere else. NO one needs to jump for 45 minutes before stadium. I suspect it's nerves (and I say that as someone who has become hugely anxious about SJ due to a bad crash -- I am sympathetic, but I can see that circling the drain forever is NOT going to "fix" anything.)
          The big man -- my lost prince

          The little brother, now my main man


          • #6
            I hate-hate-hate warming up and if I could be fair to my horse and not warm up AT ALL I would. It's why I love the long format--just mount and start phase A!

            Long warmups do me or my horse not one bit of good. Ideally I will walk around for about 5 minutes, check response to leg and bending aids at the walk, trot a few minutes, canter a few minutes, pop the crossrail twice, vertical twice, oxer twice, vertical on an angle and that's it.
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              You need to have a clear idea in your head, tailored to your own horse, of what the warm-up is designed to do. Then, do only what is necessary, at the proper time to have him ready to go (not bored, inattentive, hotted-up or snarky) for stadium. I used to try for the following:

              (1) Final check that he's sound.
              (2) Get his blood moving and muscles loose.
              (3) Make sure he's on the aids and paying attention.
              (4) Jump the fences so he's sharpened up to his job.

              Ten minutes was plenty!

              What you see way, WAY too much of at the lower levels is people who think the warmup ring is to "school." If you still need to learn to count to five at that point, you're toast!


              • #8
                I rarely do much at warmup. Generally, we have one day HTs here, and I'm doing BN stuff anyway, but even at H/J stuff, I tend to maybe do each jump once, may not even do the crossrail at all. If we do 4 warmup fences, that's about right.

                What works best for my horse is actually to warm up a bit before our time, then go into show hunter couch mode by the ring for a round or two. She seems to settle her brain better that way; if I don't have to give her a little tap-tap to wake her up, she's not chilled enough before we go in.
                A Year In the Saddle


                • #9
                  I try and flat my horse in another ring away from horses cantering by and jumping. My mare is pretty hot so the quieter the area the better. I try and walk a good 5 mins and bend and stretch and move into the trot. I normally only trot a lap or two if at all. I get a much more relaxed horse as the cantering and circle, forward and back. I trot my first cross rail a few times until she is settled and relaxed to and away from the fence. Then I will pop over the vertical and then jump the oxer. I try to do as few jumps as possible over the oxer but I jump until I am comfortable. Normally no more than 5 times.

                  Have you tried using a coach. Meaning someone on the ground that can give you pointers or at the very least say good job and set the jumps? After not using one for forever I found it really helped my nerves because if I did fudge something, they can tell me you did this wrong and this is how to fix it. I I found that jumping a few times before I 'wrecked' (I have the same phobia) and not knowing why it went well was scarier than jumping it a few more times, maybe having an issue but being able to go around and fix it.

                  ETA this is my warm up for prelim.
                  Last edited by Marginally Safe; May. 17, 2013, 02:18 AM.


                  • #10
                    I do mostly one days so my horse it typically still pretty much warmed up from dressage. My warmup takes less than ten minutes. Trot and canter once around each direction, canter the crossrail, canter the vertical, canter the oxer, and then I'll usually jump one more, either the vertical or the oxer, depending on what type the first fence of the stadium course is. Trust me, us riders need the warmup far more than our poor horses do!


                    • #11
                      I aim for six jumps, but doesn't always go as planned. Trot the crossrail just to get their attention, canter it, canter the vertical twice, oxer twice and done. We try to jump the vertical and oxer off each lead if possible.

                      If there is something that needs particular attention on SJ or XC is after SJ and we want to make sure we have their attention (jump at an angle, jump off a short turn etc) we might school that in the ring if we have time.

                      My BN and starter students have very confidence building, short warmups. They may spend more time on the cross rail or a smaller vertical if they're timid, and they jump the vertical at height until they're confident, then jump the oxer until they have one good fence- if it's the first one, that's it- and then they go.
                      Big Idea Eventing


                      • #12
                        Do you ever get coached at shows? Have you talked to your coach about your warm up issues?

                        One of the best things I've done for myself this year (keep in mind, I've put a huge amount of time, money, and effort into wrangling my show jumping demons) was asking the h/j coach I've been getting help with to help me develop a good warm up strategy suitable for my horse and me, and what our specific issues are. I went to a local jumper show with her, and she then came and warmed me up at an event a couple of weeks later, just to be sure I had it well established. It has made a HUGE difference, because now I have a plan, a system, and direction to my warm up. For ages it was just "jump jumps". I also tended to rush myself and my horse. Having a system also has the benefit of keeping me calm and focused and relaxed(ish). HUGE for me in show jumping.

                        So, even though I do mostly one days, I still give myself a little more time than I've normally given myself. Usually about 30 minutes. I do a shortened flat warm up- walk, canter, stretchy trot (though, I worry less about that as he's already been loosened up for dressage). I do a little lateral work- nothing fancy- to be sure he's straight and listening. I canter forward and back to be sure I've got go and whoa. I MIGHT throw in a few lead changes (if there's room and it isn't crazy...our changes aren't solid still and they can make him nervous). I also do a couple of canter-halt-canter transitions in both direction. All of this takes maybe 10-15 minutes.

                        I DO jump the X, cantering it a couple of times, trying to get it to ride just like a cavelleti. I jump the vertical and then the oxer a couple of times each (technically, I want to jump something 3 times well before moving on, but if we are on fire, I won't necessarily). If all is going well, we jump somewhere between 6 to 9 fences.

                        If we're zooming through warm up or things are taking longer in the ring, I'll take a few breaks to review and/or watch the course. I don't keep going and going and going (I don't want to wear us out and I work hard to stay in a calm and focused spot in my head).

                        So far, so good. I jumped the best prelim round of my life a few weeks ago, and hoping that it just improves from there. The system helps A LOT for me.

                        If I were at an event over multiple days, I would do more flat work warm up (more like I do at home). Same for going to a jumper show.


                        • Original Poster

                          I do occasionally have someone coach me in warm up and I end up jumping the same number of fences. I'm sure everyone knows about my warm up issues! The more shows I do that end well the better they get. It can help my nerves a bit, especially when I'm feeling squeamish about something I consider "airy."


                          • #14
                            I would seriously talk to someone about helping you develop a good, solid warm up system, then. I know that things can fall apart rapidly in warm up (been there, done that, have the embarrassing memories of a panic attack seared forever into my brain). If you have a system that you stick to do, it will help you stay focused on the task and less on the nerves.

                            Also, while warm up is definitely not the place to be training, it IS the place to be sure all your aids and skills are present and accounted for. You need to be sure you have your forward and back, that you can establish and maintain a good rhythm, and that you can get straight to the fences. Some people can do that in a handful of fences. I, personally, can't. So, just because you don't think you should be teaching or fixing anything in warm up, don't be dismissive of it. There IS a purpose to it.

                            As for the "airy" jumps, particularly the oxer....maybe THAT'S what you should be working on at home. Maybe you do, but if they bug you that much, you would be jumping them at home all the time.