Warm-up Strategy for Excitable Horses
By Lisa Barry, FEI 5* Rider and Trainer
Warm-up is important, but not all horses warm up the same way. If you want to practice the movements of the day, but your horse tends to get increasingly more difficult or less attentive as you warm up for flat work, try this strategy: Plan your schedule so that you start your warm-up early. Work through all the movements you want to practice, then return to the barn or trailer and allow the horse to settle. Once the horse has relaxed, get back on and do a final warm-up. Keep this warm-up short and simple and as relaxed as possible. The movements you practiced earlier will still be fresh in your horse’s mind so you won’t need to drill them. Go in the arena with a happier, quieter horse!
Lisa Barry is a four-star event rider who has been riding and competing horses for 29 years, and has 16 years of international competition experience. Her horses have had top placings at many FEI events including at the Advanced/CCI4*/CCI5* level. Lisa has trained with Karen O’Connor for 25 years, and has worked for and ridden with Karen and David since she joined the O’Connor program as a working student when she was 17. Lisa competed at the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event aboard her beloved FIS Prince Charming, aka “Peanut,” a tiny, feisty New Zealand OTTB. Lisa is currently training and coaching out of Lexington, Kentucky and Ocala, Florida. If you have questions for Lisa or would like to learn more about her program email her at firstname.lastname@example.org