ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: [endurance] warm-ups

Re: [endurance] warm-ups

Wendy Milner (wendy@wendy.cnd.hp.com)
Mon, 1 Jul 96 16:30:20 MDT

> There has been some good discussion out there re warm-ups but we are
> not talking dressage here, but endurance. At home, I can ride on the
> bit in the indoor and I can keep him in frame on the trail, but a
> wired horse before the ride does not particularly want to hear about
> those lessons ( that's why they give you an hour to warm up before
> driven dressage)

> John and Sue Greenall
> greenall@vermontel.com

I try to do two types of warm up.
First - warm up the muscles. Just walking around and maybe a little
trotting if there is room away from the others. Many times there is
no room. In this way, if we have an unexpected fast move, at least
our muscles won't pull.

Second, while doing the first, I try to get his attention.
No this isn't dressage, but I do the same dressage warm ups if I can.
Say there is 30 feet of straight trail. I'll bend one way then the
other going down the trail. Just walking back and forth, you can get
both the muscles warmed up and engage the little brain of the beasty.

For a reality check here, first ride, it took 1 hour going less than
a mile of wild acrobatics to get his attention. 2 months ago, 30
minutes of hollow back but at my pace and with all legs on the ground.
Last weekend, 20 minutes, lots of side pass and leg yeilds, almost
connected. Next time we are shooting for 10 minutes.
Drake is great at the start. He'll stand there like a veterin while
all the horses are milling about. Our biggest problem is those horses
that keep moving into us. But once the ride starts and the first horse
moves away, he wants to be out front. I don't want to be out front,
we aren't fast enough long enough for that this year. Second, when
he wants to be there, he forgets how to go nicely, so he goes hollow
and bumpy. As soon as he behaves, and rounds for me, I let him trot
out. Usually this is when the others are out of sight at the start.

Since we do the exercises at home and on the practice trail, Drake
knows what I want him to do. It really doesn't matter which exercises
you do for your warm up, just make the horse think as you warm up
the muscles. If you are a reiner, do your reining patterns. If you
haven't had any professional training, pick some work that you like to
do at home, and do that. Make it mentally challenging for the horse.
This is important.

Also, don't quit. First ride I was ready to brain Drake. I couldn't
get out of the starting gate, so to speak. But I kept with it. He
decided I was winning, and he just gave up. Then he got an immediate
reward and we went on down the trail. The problem with our wonderfully
fit horses is that the longer we do endurance riding, the stronger and
more fit they become. If you give in to the horse, "Oh he'll settle in
after a couple of miles", then the next time you take him out, it will
be a few miles more, then more, then more. Overheard at one ride,
"Boy he pulled like a !@#!#$ for the first 20 miles, but after that
he was just fine." From a 25 miler. I can't imagine argueing for that
long. Drake has learned that the faster he settles down and does what
I want, the sooner he'll be rewarded, letting him trot down the trail
after the other guys.


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Wendy Milner HPDesk: wendy_milner@hp4000 Hewlett-Packard Company e-mail: wendy@fc.hp.com Mail Stop A2 Telnet: 229-2182 3404 E. Harmony Rd. AT&T: (970) 229-2182 Fort Collins, CO, 80525 FAX: (970) 229-4292