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How to plan your warm up.

Warm ups are something that are forever plaguing people, and as we all know, have a dramatic effect on the performance we produce in those white boards.

There are many things that can contribute to a tricky time before you go down the centre line, from the officious steward, the rider who hogs the arena, or even a traffic jam on the way. We have all been there!

However all of these things are events that we can't control! Its important to remember that you can only control the controllable's!

So how do we do that!? I hear you you sigh, well the best thing you can do is have a plan, be prepared but most importantly be open to change and adapt under pressure.

Having a plan will give you something to refer to, and draw upon tools should you need to.

When we talk warm up plans the easiest way to get the foundations in place is to answer these questions:

1)How long do I normally warm up for?

2)What are the 3 most important things to me before I head down the centre line? - these can be just words e.g rhythm, suppleness and equal in the rein.

3) When I am at home, what exercises do I use to achieve the above 3 words?

The next step is to split your warm up into 3 sections:

1)The physical warm up - what do you need to do to physically WARM your horse up?

2)The main content - how will you work towards achieving your 3 words

3)Just before you go in - What do you need to do? - a break? visualise the test? a drink? 2 mins quiet time to yourself?

4) Work out from the time you have given, how long you will allocate to each section - if you need more or less then change it.

Already you now have the very basics of a warm up plan! Remember often the answers lie within, so if you are struggling to think about what to put into a plan, think about what has worked in the past - at competitions, home and in your lessons.

One other thing to consider is the 'What if's' - what if they are running early? What if its hot? what if the weather is bad? What if the horse is fresh?

Good news! you don't need to change your plan completely you just need to have a think about what you could spend longer on, or take out if it was hot or you were late.

Your 3 words are the magic - you can do the same warm up plan for 10 mins as you do for 40 mins - its not how long you warm up for its what you do in that time. If you have thought about these scenarios before they even happen, you have already prepared to adapt!

So give it a go! Grab a piece of paper and start to plan! this plan can change all the time and definitely should be a working document for the rest of the year!


Want to know more?

If you would like a more detailed look into how to do this and a step by step guide, as well as a worksheet to print out, don't forget I have an online course for just this!! With 'how to' videos taking you through this process in detail, as well as helping you apply it in the test too!! All for just £10!


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