honestly think riders should warm up before they get on their horse, I also believe it can be quick, efficient and doesn’t have to take up a whole lot of time.
We’re in a bit of a chicken and egg situation with the whole thing really, because it’s not common and therefore not a universal method or approach in the equestrian industry, which seems bonkers to me because we beg to be seen as athletes but not joining in with a task that fundamentally prepares us for athletic performance!
The practice of ‘warming-up’ has been universally accepted for a very long time outside of our sport. Warm ups serve four fundamental goals:
- Mental readiness
- Physical readiness
- Injury prevention
- Performance enhancement
In professional and elite sport environments (again, outside of equestrian…) using warm-ups to serve these four primary purposes is common practise.
As a rider its important for you to understand that warm-ups can both reduce injury, mentally prepare you and that a well designed warm up can enhance your performance.
What’s not to like?
If you warm up before you ride you will increase blood flow, muscle temperature and core temperature; these are beneficial to you because as a result you will have:
- Faster muscle contraction and relaxation
- Improvements in reaction time
- Lowered resistance in muscles
- Improved oxygen delivery
- Increased blood flow to active muscles