When it's 100 degrees outside, the idea of "warming up" sounds laughable. During our lesson today however, I made sure to use my warm up time deliberately and intentionally. Some exercises Karen gave us follow.
At the walk:
- Ride into the corner, then do haunches in along the wall.
- Keeping the same angle and bend, turn the haunches in into a shoulder in along the wall.
- Intersperse periods of collected, medium, and extended walk in with the breaks of free walk.
- To extend the walk, allow with your hands by giving and taking with the rhythm of the horse's head and neck. To collect the walk, half halt, stop following as much with your hands, and engage the hindquarter, causing the haunch to lower and the head and neck to raise in relative elevation.
- From haunches in, go into half pass across a diagonal, being sure that the shoulder leads the half pass.
- Do haunches in around a ten meter circle.
- Collect the trot (after the above walk work our trot was VERY nice), then allow periods of stretch down into a longer contact allowing with the inside rein first, then half halt and collect again.
- Intersperse periods of collected, medium, and extended with periods of stretch described above.
- Along with shoulder in, intersperse periods of straight and transitions to halt.
- From collected canter, deliberately move into medium canter for four or five strides, then come back to collected canter (by riding a ten meter circle if necessary). Insist on immediate forward response into medium and immediate come back response into collected.
- Intersperse walk to canter, medium, collected, straight lines, small circles (in random order). Always ride the canter to walk or canter to halt transition from "canter in place" collected canter.