Monday, November 22, 2010

In the Warm Up Ring-Jumpers

Everyone has their own warm up routine before they enter the ring with their horse, and I know that every horse is an individual and requires different things. This being said, I've found a routine that I've had several of my trainers follow with small variations on the theme to suit the individual horse.
The routine goes something like this:
  • Walk 7-10 minutes to warm up
  • Trot-5-10 minutes to loosen up and become supple
  • Canter- 5 minutes- bend side to side to supple and then extend down the long side, shorten along the short side and incoportate several fairly small circles, then extend again down the long side. (This is an exercise that has been practice while schooling at home and will increase your horse's ability to "explode" from a tight turn which will gain seconds during a jump off.
  • Now, you are ready to jump. The flatwork portion is to warm your horse up, loosen and supple him and make sure that he is awake before you begin jumping.
  • Cross rail or small vertical
  • Make the vertical a bit bigger
  • Small oxer
  • Larger oxer
  • Back to a Vertical to finish- this will sharpen them up in front
Some trainers, depending on the horse, want the horse to finish with a rub before entering the ring so that the horse jumps with a bit more effort once in the ring. This will depend on the natural carefulness of your horse. This works very well with some very sensitive horses who are naturally careful because they remember the rub and end up jumping their little hearts out to avoid the rub once in the ring.

To create the rub or the fallen rail, place the top rail of the last vertical just off the cup on one or both sides, usually "wind" from the horses' jump will be enough to knock it down regardless of them touching it.

If you are lucky enough to be called back for the jump off, don't overdo the work you do between your first round and the Jump off.

Preserve your horse's energy and keep things short. Remember, they've already been warmed up and jumped, so now just wake them up and fine tune.

I prefer to do this with a short canter around to make sure that they are awake- maybe another round of "explode-come back".

Finally, I might angle a vertical to make sure that they are willing to take the jump on a slice. Then off to the ring I go!

Tisolde winning the Classic in Jacksonville in 2007

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