Support the USEA by Supporting Our Advertisers
Wed, 2017-07-12 08:13

Rule Refresher: Exercise and Warm-Up

USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Every competitor knows that schooling and warm-up rides are a crucial part of success at any event. Taking the time to school a horse around the venue and warm up properly before each phase is beneficial for every horse-and-rider combination. Today, we’re breaking down EV 108: Exercising and Warming Up. Text has been taken directly from the USEF Rules For Eventingwith emphasis added by the USEA.

EV108 Exercising and Warming Up


By 3:00 p.m. of the day prior to the start of the entire competition, or upon arrival if later, each horse, including non-competing horses, shall be issued a number. This number must be worn at all times when the horse is being ridden or exercised. Failure to display the number shall first incur a warning. Repeated offenses shall incur a fine of $50 (payable to the Organizing Committee) at the discretion of the Ground Jury.


a. It is forbidden, under penalty of disqualification, for anyone other than the competitor who will ride the horse in the competition to school the horse during the competition. This period of restriction begins at 3:00 pm of the day prior to the start of the entire competition.

b. A groom, while mounted, is permitted only to walk the horse or to trot it from one place to another. A groom may also work the horse in hand or on the lunge.

c. Riding close to Cross-Country obstacles, or riding in the Dressage or Jumping arenas prior to the actual competition is forbidden, unless specifically authorized by the Ground Jury, under penalty of disqualification. This restriction is specifically intended to prevent competitors from gaining an unfair advantage from schooling or showing the obstacle(s) to their horses prior to the competition.

d. The Cross-Country course will be closed to all competitors on the same date. The course closed date must be published in the prize list of the competition. The Dressage arena may not be used after it has been prepared for the competition and closed by the Organizer. The Jumping arena may not be used after it has been prepared for the competition and closed by the Organizer. The Organizer shall report any violation of this rule to the President of the Ground Jury.


a. Areas suitable for the general exercise of horses must be made available, and must be open during the hours of daylight. The Organizing Committee must inform competitors of the areas that are available for this purpose. Horses may only be exercised in such designated areas, or in the practice areas for Dressage and Jumping.

b. A Dressage exercising area must be provided at a convenient distance from the competition arena. A practice dressage arena should, if possible, be placed at the disposal of the competitors.

c. An exercising area with jumps must be provided at a convenient distance from the start of the Cross-Country and from the Jumping arena. The exercising area for Show Jumping must include at least two spread and two vertical adjustable practice fences. The exercising area for Cross-Country must include at least three adjustable fences (including at least one oxer) and at least one solid cross-country type obstacle. Where space or materials are limited, and with the permission of the Technical Delegate, either or both areas may contain at least three adjustable obstacles including at least one oxer. These obstacles must be marked with red and white flags.

d. The only practice fences that competitors may jump are those flagged fences provided by the Organizer. No part of the fences may ever be held by anyone while a horse is jumping. These fences may not be raised more than 10 cm (4 inches) above the maximum height permitted for the competition in progress (or about to begin), nor may the spread exceed the maximum permitted. Ground lines may be placed directly under, or up to 1.00 meter (3’3”) in front of, the obstacle. They may not be placed even slightly on the landing side. The upper ends of crossed poles must always be supported by cups. If a horizontal pole is placed above crossed poles, it must be higher than the upper ends of the crossed poles. These practice fences must be jumped in the correct direction. The practice fences shall only be jumped at times laid down by the Organizing Committee. Violation of any of the above provisions relating to practice fences is forbidden, under penalty of disqualification, at the discretion of the Ground Jury.

4. STEWARDS. One or more stewards may be appointed by the Organizer to ensure that the rules regarding exercising and warming up are obeyed, but a steward must be present at whatever times the Organizer has laid down that practice fences may be jumped. Other practice and exercise areas may be patrolled in a random manner.


USEA Official Corporate Sponsors