Only recently i've discovered that i didnt use to warm up for long enough. I used to do a bit of walk, a bit of trot, and a bit of canter. Then i'd expect him to work properly.
Now i do one lap of the school in walk, one large figure of 8 in walk, one serpentine in walk, then i change rein and do it all on the other rein. Then i do the same in trot and canter. I do all this on a very loose long rein, with absolutely minimal contact. I use this time to ignore how he's going (as long as he's going forward and bending properly) and work on my position. I ignore his head and neck.
After all that i do it all again with proper length reins. Then i do some turns on the forehand, rein back and shoulders in to get him flexing and listening. Then i work on whatever i want to work on that day. Something to challenge us and teach us something new, or something i'd like to improve. Then i'll go back to doing something he knows well.
I do exactly the same as warming up, but backwards. I'll canter a lap, a figure of 8 then a serpentine on each rein, then trot it, then walk it. On a nice loose rein making sure everything is stretched out and loosened off.
So, what's your routine?
Last edited by IcarusGirl; 29th May 2010 at 10:35 AM.
I start by walking round on a loose rein, i dont spend a lot of time walking because his only speed of walk is slower than a snail so i get him trotting pretty soon, again on a loose rein and just get him thinking forwards. I trot lots of circles start with big ones then do smaller, do a few serpentines, changes of the rein etc. Ill have a canter around the school really pushing him on down the long sides so hes stretching out.
What i like to do once hes warmed up is trot a half 10m circle, changing the rein to a half 30m circle then changing the rein back by another half 10m (so you are kind of riding a wiggly line down the school, if that makes sense?!). i"ll do that a few times on both reins. I do some leg yield down both long sides on both reins and some shallow loops. I'll canter figure of 8s changing leg at X, and then work on whatever i wanted to improve etc.
Cooling down i'll do a couple of canters round the school then trot him round on a looser contact encouraging him to stretch right down, then back to walk, walk a few big circles then i take him out of the school and walk him round the field or walk up the track.
Beth gets a longer warm up than Brennan as she sometimes gets a bit stiff. We do a few(maybe 4 or 5 depending on how she feels) laps of the school on a long rein (pretty much on the buckle while I catch up and have a gossip with anyone else in the school!) a few big circles still in walk on a long rein a 4 loop serpentine to change the rein then the same on the other rein. We then do the same figures in trot, but with only two laps of the school first, then the same in canter. Will then do a few leg yields in walk and trot to get her listening.
With Brennan I do pretty much the same thing but less walking to start with and only 1 lap of the school in trot and canter - Brennan does not always move forward in canter and gets bored and loses concentration easily, so I do lots of walk trot and then trot canter transitions with him first to get him listening.
She knows when I'm happy. She knows when I'm comfortable. She knows when I'm confident ... and she ALWAYS knows when I have carrots!
a short walk on a long rein, loose the stirrups get him round and sfot in the poll off my leg then spend some time getting him felxing his hocks, sending on brining back spirals and getting him into my outside rein work getting less speed more impuslion and collection
walk on long rein once around the outside track each rein
then them onto more of a contact and ask them to work long and low in the walk doing 20m circles with changes of rein- working on getting her really bending in the neck and body as much as i ask. may ask for some leg yeilding or lateral work as well