ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: Fwd: [endurance] warm up

Re: Fwd: [endurance] warm up

Joyce Kellenberger (joyce@homer.ca.boeing.com)
Mon, 1 Jul 96 19:41:15 PDT

> ---------------------
> Forwarded message:
> From: katswig@deltanet.com (K S Swigart)
> Sender: owner-endurance@moscow.com
> To: greenall@vermontel.com (Greenall)
> CC: endurance@moscow.com
> Date: 96-06-30 14:57:23 EDT
> On Sun, 30 Jun 1996, Greenall wrote:
> > concensis out there about warm-ups. On this ride in particular, we
> > were head to tail (all 40 of us) on narrow woods trail for at least
> > 10 miles, on and off. Talk about being on the bit.
> What exactly do you mean by 'on the bit' here? Do you mean "A perfect
> contact" that "is possible only when the horse is in absolute balance,
> carries himself, and does not seek support from the reins." In which
> case "It may then be said that the horse is 'on the bit.'" (As defined
> by Podhajsky, and is what most dressage riders mean when they say 'on the
> bit').
> Or do you mean that all the horses were in some way leaning on the bit
> and pulling on the rider's hands. In which case most riders would
> describe that as being either "behind" the bit or "above" the bit
> depending on whether the horse is doing this by sticking its nose up in
> the air or is overbending at the poll and has its nose pulled to its
> chest. (Two ways of going that I have noticed are very common at
> endurance rides, especially at the start.)
> > I dawned on me
> > then that not only did I need to warm up, but I needed to get my
> > horse round and flexing before the start. Guess I will be getting up
> > a little earlier next time.
> If what you want is for your horse to be truly 'on the bit' rather than
> just leaning on the bit. The time to do this is not in the hours before the
> ride but rather in the months before the ride. But a good warm up is
> also beneficial. Many dressage riders will do this by longing the horse
> (only of any benefit if the horse is bitted up in side reins) so that the
> horse may round and flex without having to counteract the weight of the
> rider. Others will do it by warming up the horse with its neck stretched
> out and the head "down and low" but I wouldn't recommend this as few
> people can do it properly, keeping the horse round, but rather the horse
> ends up just dragging its hindquarters along behind.
> Just curious as to what you meant by "Talk about being on the bit." My
> experience at endurance rides is that maybe 1 in 50 horses could be
> described as being 'on the bit' Many of them start out behind the bit
> with their noses pulled to their chests and then during the course of the
> ride, as they tire, they drop their backs and get above the bit. SOme of
> them start out with their nose stuck up in the air and are above the bit
> for the whole distance of the ride.
> Others (myslef included) will, for much of the ride, allow the horse to
> go along with little or no contact on the bit at all and just ride on a
> loose rein using contact with the bit only for preparation for changes in
> direction or pace or to assist in the negotiation of a particularly rough
> or tricky part of the trail.
> kat
> Orange County, Calif.