USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
The warm up at a competition can often feel overwhelming. With horses circling, steward’s calling, and adrenaline pumping, it can be hard recalling all the proper etiquette, so it’s best to review before you head to the show! Following these guidelines can help the competition run more smoothly and safely for everyone.
- Every horse in the warm up – including non-competing horses – must wear a number.
- Only the competitor may exercise the horse in saddle.
- A groom may ride the horse, but only at the walk or trot from one location to another. A groom may also work the horse on a lunge.
- No rider can claim exclusive use of a warm up jump.
- The expectation is that riders should be allowed to “share” jumps with other riders in the spirit of cooperation and good sportsmanship.
- Jumps should only be attempted in one direction. Look for a red flag on the right and a white flat on the left to indicate the correct direction.
- Warm up fences can be no more than 10 cm (4”) higher than the maximum height of the competition level in progress. Here’s a handy table to see maximum heights for your level:
- Ground poles may be used either directly under or less than 1.00 meter in front of the fence, but ground lines may not be used even slightly on the landing side of a fence.
- All riders must wear a medical arm band or bracelet while jumping.
- Please ensure your riding aids are the correct length.
- No more than 4 cm (1 9/16”) spurs.
- No more than 75 cm (30”) whip length over fences.
These guidelines should be kept in mind for all National competitions (Beginner Novice - Advanced). Keep them in mind when you’re getting ready for competition, and don’t forget to thank your volunteer ring stewards!