Trivia Challenge: Know How to Warm Your Horse Up…*Properly*?

Challenge yourself! Have fun and test your knowledge of horses and horsemanship with Horse&Rider’s Trivia Challenge, featured in The Ride newsletter.

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. If your horse is ready to “blast off” from pent-up energy, you should turn him into a pen or put him on a longe line and let him buck it out before you get on him.

T / F

Products we feature have been selected by our editorial staff. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission. For more information click here.

2. Experts agree on the best start for a warm-up: Whatever else you do, don’t skimp on…

A) long trotting.

B) relaxed walking.

C) continuous loping.

3. You should plan your horse’s warm-up to accomplish these goals in this order:

A) warm, supple, loosen.

B) supple, warm, loosen.

C) loosen, warm, supple.

4. True or false: Good suppling maneuvers include small circles, serpentines, figure 8s, leg-yielding, and counter-bend circles.

T / F

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. F is correct. But it’s a bit of a tricky question. You do in fact want to help him get the “fresh” out, but you don’t want him to “go crazy” before he’s warmed up a little—that would be as bad as hopping on and riding hard without warming up first. Hand-walk him for a few moments first if you fear he’s going to be too exuberant when you turn him loose or try to longe. Then, on the longe, let him walk several circles before you ask for a trot, then lope—and keep the circles large. If you’ve turned him out, don’t urge him to run straightaway.

Need a longe line? Try the Hamilton nylon longe line on Amazon. 

2. B is correct. Easy walking is the part of a warm-up experts tend to stress the most. Put your horse on a draped rein and in as relaxed a frame as possible to loosen him up. Use your whole arena, or work in extra-large circles to keep stress on joints and tendons/ligaments low. Allow a good 5 to 10 minutes at this easy walk, more if your horse is older and/or especially stiff.

3. C is correct. Loosen your horse up first at a walk, using your whole arena. Then warm up his musculoskeletal system at a trot, then a lope (still using your whole arena or large circles). Finally, begin to supple him with bending and lateral work. This phased-in approach enables his muscles to warm and his joints and tendons to loosen and stretch gently, as they prepare for more vigorous exercise.

[DETAILS about *the* best warm-up for your horse.]

4. T is correct. All work that includes bending will help stretch and supple your horse’s muscles. Be sure to work equally in both directions, so you supple each of his sides equally.

[RELATED: Use warm-up time to troubleshoot problem areas.]

Hey! Not already receiving H&R’s fun and informative newsletter? Sign up right now for The Ride. It’s free!

Related Articles
HR_24BON Grooming Feature_01
Groom to Win
Grooming Secrets to Show Like the Pros
HR_24BON_Conformation Clinic_Performance-Mares_01
Conformation Clinic: Performance Mares
HR_24SPG_Private Lesson_Lope Departure_Shannon-Pigott_06
Counter-Arc Drill For Lead Departures
HR_24BON_Crabbe Dont Call it Maintenance_crabbe_01
To Inject or Not to Inject
Don’t Call It Maintenance! 
Receive news and promotions for Horse & Rider and other Equine Network offers.

"*" indicates required fields


Additional Offers

Additional Offers
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.