Warm up./Schooling ideas

Aug 11, 2002
Middle earth.
Visit site
I'm a bit lost with my warm up at the moment. The one I'm currently using isn't really working.
My horse tends to be quite forward but lacks impulsion when you first start off. But after a canter she becomes very forward, and then pulls lots wanting to canter more. Her canter work is lovely at the moment(Nice and round, collection, exstending,big circles little circles:D ) but the trot work is really bad. She gets really stroppy after a canter when I ask her to trot and becomes quite drifty(sticks her bum this way, sticks it that way).
I'm going to show on the 27th and need some ideas about what type of warm up to at the show to best prepare her for her classes(Flat classes). Also any schooling ideas in general would be apperchiated.

p.s-Will be starting dressage lessons after the new year so that will hopefully sort us out abit.Oh! and got a digital camera today! So expect some pictures of my beautiful girl very soon!:D :D


New Member
Dec 15, 2004
Visit site
i think the best thing ive ever done in warmign up is to walk on a loss reign then trott on a loose reign and canter on a loose reign before askign the horse to work.

i also try to get the horse head long and deap to stretch over the back this gets th ehorse relaxed subtle and warmed up ive had results with this with a uptight horse and a stiff horse.

to get the horses head long and deep widen your hands as far as possible sponge with your hands and then as the horse beings its head down feed the reigns through your hands, takes quite a look of leg


New Member
Jun 11, 2000
Connecticut, US
Visit site
Can you do lateral work? From what you describe, straightness seems to be an issue with her, so focusing on some lateral work (e.g., leg yields and shoulder-in's) after a canter might help keep her focused on listening to your lateral aids, which you will need to keep her straight. Also, doing figures with frequent changes of direction as well as spiraling in and out on a circle could be useful.


New Member
May 14, 2004
Visit site
With regards to warm - up for shows, my horse and i have currently starting competing at unaffiliated dressage and i have a very forward going, bit of a stresspot anglo arab, the best advice one of my instructors gave to me for warmup is as many transitions as you can fit in before your class/test/whatever, so we do halt to walk, halt to trot, trot to halt and on and on and on, makes him focus his attention on me and by only giving him a few paces of trot or canter before asking for something else for him to do tends to contain his energy a bit as he has to use his mind and back and legs to be responsive to my aids, rather than what he'd rather do, ie...flatten his back , poke his nose out and career around the arena at supersonic speed!
good luck, always keep warm-up varied!


New Member
May 8, 2002
I find that I have to get Molly's attention straight away, so loose rein stuff just doesn't work with me. I find lots of leg yielding, circles, changes of pace and direction works - I try not to go all the way round the school without doing anything. She really responds to this, blows her nose, shakes her head (she always pretends she has a fly in her ear for about 2 minutes!) and then settles into some lovely round balanced work.


Active Member
Oct 23, 2001
I like an exercise we did in Sweden quite a lot...

on whatever rein you are on...

10m circle at first quarter marker on long side, finish circle and ride to X. 10m circle the other way (i.e. towards fence on the side you started), now ride X to the other quarter marker (on the same long side), 10m circle at the quarter marker.

Now start to ride the QM to X parts as leg yield :)

If you need to, start this in walk and build up to trot.

Now if you build you canter issue into this....

Do above exercise to get horse focused and in front of leg etc etc...

after you finish the last 10m circle, ask for canter. Depending on what you get and how you normally work, canter down long side - here you can build in any canter exercise you want like loop off the side, 20m circle at E or B etc.

As you come to the short end again do the downward transition to trot.

And take the 10m circle at q.m. for the start of the trot exercise.

If it was me, I would experiment a little - you said she is quite strong etc after the trot. Well try NOT to micro-manage this, just ask for the direction - let HER sort out her speed and balance and use your legs to create the lightness you want rather than trying to slow everything down.

i.e. do something that is a little counter intuitive - when she gets strong and heavy, use more leg and push her up ;) Keep your hands light and elastic - she can only pull and lean if you give her something to lean against. If this is difficult, use plenty of half-halts to help...

I've had a few speedy horses before. My current mare tends to be spooky rather than rushing - but I've been playing around with "passenger lessons " (a parelli thing) and discovered that if I "over-manage" then I get a worse result than if I let her sort herself out. I just asked her to trot round the rail and she tried going faster, etc, and all I did was ask her to stay on the rail - after about 2 circuit she wanted to slow right up :rolleyes: so I had to push her on... :D And as a result we got a much nice trot, partnership, communication and so on.

Many years ago I did a similar thing with my "no brakes" cob (didn't know it was "parelli" at that stage ;) ) and it took many more circuits, but he too got the idea and started to slow up of his own accord. NB this was not just cos he was out of breath and tired - this effect is relatively long term ! (Th with a pony QUITE so impulsive and forward going as my cob, we did have to go back to basics every 3-4 months or so...)
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
P Warm up/schooling horses Training of the Horse and Rider 0
P warm up before schooling Training of the Horse and Rider 4
F Whats your Warm Up Routine When Schooling? Training of the Horse and Rider 21
L Keeping warm on the yard in winter Cafe 24
Lisa & her Gang Rain and a warm horse Horse Care 12
Calluna RC comp tomorrow...warm up? Training of the Horse and Rider 15
Jessey How warm? Horse Care 49
Trewsers This made me feel warm and fuzzy this morning Cafe 6
squidsin Warm legs Cafe 7
Wally Warm evening ...at last. Cats, Dogs and other Animals 7
L warm hoof. Hoof Care 4
Trewsers Warm fuzzy and fed (me, not the girls!) Cafe 3
Bodshi Unseasonably warm weather! Cafe 11
Trewsers That warm fuzzy Friday feeling! Cafe 24
Trewsers Warm fuzzy ride Cafe 2
Trewsers Weirdly warm Cafe 6
Dark Storm It was actually warm today... someone remind we that we are in December please! Cafe 9
Mary Poppins Warm up rings!!! Competing 7
Trewsers Warm hock help Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 14
N What do you do if your horse takes a long time to warm up? Training of the Horse and Rider 18
Dark Storm lack of warm weather, combi rug has given my horse a black summer coat. Horse Care 2
Ale Best warm, waterproof and comfy boots/wellies that I can cycle and ride in? Cafe 18
Jane&Ziggy Warm bottom, ahhh that's better Cafe 2
Jane&Ziggy How horses keep warm in winter Horse Care 6
fairlady So I am in bed after nights, asleep snug and warm....and the phone rings ...... Cafe 12
T Recommend some warm wellies! Cafe 15
B Wonderful Warm Novembers day!! Cafe 5
notpoodle How to warm up your pony before a show .... Adults who ride Ponies 6
H Lovely warm moment today Cafe 0
B WOW Scotland was actually warm today.... Cafe 11
Trewsers Warm and fuzzy again... Cafe 3
Mr Ed Combining warm coat, body-protector (& high vis) Older Riders 21
Trewsers A warm fuzzy glow.... Cafe 2
poohsmate Excuse me should we not be in a nice warm stable??? Cafe 25
dragonfarmgirl Finally got warm toes !!! Cafe 12
ladiva Waterproof and warm.. Tried and Tested 5
D Will they be ok or too warm?? Horse Care 12
W Horse with Blue tongue-Dressage warm up Cafe 19
bexj Jess - a story to make you feel all warm and lovely Cafe 6
Mr Ed Warm, waterproof (ish) winter jods? Cafe 8
HorseHelen warm up arenas .... what a nightmare Competing 14
G What would you bath with? Warm or cold water? Horse Care 14
Mr Ed All four feet are warm ?? Metabolic 9
sarahandbronson How long do you warm up for? Competing 11
horseygirl123 Rain forcast for tonight, but warm .... what rug !!!! Horse Care 24
Fabio's Filly! Warm up tips for exciteable, strong horse!! Training of the Horse and Rider 18
KodaBear Resting One Warm Hoof?? Help.. Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 7
K how can you tell if a horse is warm in a field? Horse Care 10
D What exactly is a Dutch Warm Bred? Breeds, Colouring and Genetics 7
Bays_R_Best Warm/waterproof riding yard trousers. Money Saving Ideas, Tips and Remedies 0

Similar threads