Warm-up at the walk
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, August 16, 2007 09:46 PM
After initial couple minutes on a free rein. I pick him up, however, not in a collected frame, more in a long a low frame. I start with small circles, figures eight, serpentines between quarter lines, then progress to leg-yields, shoulder-ins, zigzags in leg-yields. Once in a while I let him stretch for a free walk or extended walk. When I feel him supple, and attentive I move to travers, renvers, changes between shoulder-in and travers or renvers and so on. By that time he is more round and a little bit shorter in his frame. If he feels really good I may do couple half-passes at the end. I don't do all of the movements I have described. I may skip leg-yields or serpentines, etc. The goal is to stretch and supple your horse's cold muscles in a relaxed and slow motion of walk.
After such warm up he is so much better in the first trot. I can feel that he is already more together, more attentive and supple. I sometimes skip such warm-ups and I immediately feel the difference.
On a young horse you should be careful. Do not do a lot or difficult movements. However, he will benefit greatly even with simple circles and changes of direction ridden correctly.
Happy riding...
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