Raise your hand if you’re pretty good about letting your horse have a nice walk warmup when you first get on. I bet most of us are — after all, we know how important it to let our horses loosen up and warm up their muscles before we ask them to work harder. Now raise your hand if you use that time to warm yourself up appropriately as well.
I admit it — I’m awful about this. I’m usually on my phone as I let my horse walk around on a loose rein for 10 minutes at the start of my ride, doing anything from scrolling through Instagram to checking my work email. It’s not a good way to start my ride and I know it, but it’s a hard habit to break.
Dressage rider Amelia Newcomb has some tips for what to do after you first get on your horse and, shockingly, none of them involve scrolling on your phone! These simple exercises will help you utilize that warmup time for yourself as well as your horse by getting your mind and body focused on the task ahead. Join me in ditching your phone and trying these next time you put your feet in the stirrups!