Warm up in open spa­ces

Your Horse (UK) - - Better Riding -

Warm-up rings take on many forms at shows and you’ll of­ten have to pre­pare in un­fenced, open spa­ces. “Open spa­ces look fright­en­ing and rid­ers of­ten ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing close to ver­tigo,” says He­len. “It all feels too much if you’re not used to be­ing in that en­vi­ron­ment. It over­whelms your brain and you can end up feel­ing dizzy.” How to pre­pare at home Hav­ing a warm-up rou­tine that you do ev­ery time you ride can give you and your horse a sense of fa­mil­iar­ity. “Even if nei­ther of you are used to warm­ing up in an open space, rid­ing a fa­mil­iar rou­tine gives you both some­thing to fo­cus on and think about other than the space around you,” ex­plains He­len. The aim is to recre­ate the calm, fo­cused warm-up rou­tine you ride at home. What to do on the day If you feel over­whelmed on com­pe­ti­tion day, He­len sug­gests do­ing the fol­low­ing. “Look in the dis­tance, at an­other horse and rider, and then back to your horse’s ears,” she says. “This stops your brain from be­ing ‘fried’ by the space around you. Fo­cus on rid­ing lines, cir­cles and tran­si­tions to help you stay in the mo­ment, at­tend­ing to the task in hand. It all aids re­lax­ation.”

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