Jun 22, 2021

Jumping Phase Warm-Ups with Jennie Brannigan

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo

If we go along with the edict that preparation is everything, then getting the warm-up right for each phase at a competition is crucial and should be treated as though it is as important as what happens inside the arena or on the course. CCI5* rider Jennie Brannigan gives us her top tips for a good warm-up for the jumping phases.

“I find that the show jumping warm-up is the place where people get the most nervous and most tense,” she says. “It doesn’t help anyone to get wound up. Take a deep breath and keep your head.

“Make a plan that suits you and your horse and stick to it.

“I think that a lot of people start jumping way too early - four horses before your slot is plenty of time, and that’s how the professional show jumpers do it.

“Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated. Everyone is trying to do the same thing; keep your eyes up, be aware of what is going on around you but focus on yourself.

“What exactly you jump before going into the ring depends on your horse and your coach, but make sure you get to and from the fences in the warm-up straight - don’t cut corners or ride sloppily.

“Make sure you move the canter around, go forwards and back within it, make sure all your gears are there and that your horse is listening to you and is adjustable. It’s too easy to freeze a little and canter around doing nothing.

“Try to watch someone jump the track who has a similar-striding horse to yours - it isn’t going to help you to watch what someone on a much longer-striding or shorter-striding animal does.

“In the cross-country warm-up, be positive but check that your brakes work. Event riders are often very good at going forwards, but less good at throttling back. You need to be able to use the downward gears as well as moving up through them. Open your horse’s stride up to and over a fence, but also make sure you can condense the canter and add a stride before a jump.

“I like to angle a jump each way - a true angle, so for example coming in off the left rein and angling the fence to the left.

“And, unlike in the show jumping warm-up, I like to give my horse time to breathe and relax after I’ve jumped a few fences, and I’ll then maybe jump one more before we are called over to the start box.”

Jan 27, 2023 ATC

Introducing the New Modified Rider Division at the 2023 AEC

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the addition of the Modified Rider division beginning at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. The USEA AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky August 29–September 3, 2023.

Jan 26, 2023 Young Event Horse

Get a Taste of Eventing with the New Event Horse Program

Are you interested in competing in the sport of eventing but aren’t quite sure how to get started? Do you have a horse that is looking for a new career? Consider participating in a USEA New Event Horse (NEH) competition in 2023! The USEA NEH Program was created to be an introduction to the sport of eventing for both horse and rider, and the 2023 NEH Calendar is now available here.

Jan 25, 2023 Profile

Dondante Steps Into The Spotlight with 2022 Standlee USEA Horse of the Year Title

Will Coleman had a huge 2022 with his string of horses, including a team silver medal at the FEI World Eventing Championship in Italy on Off The Record and top four-star placings with Chin Tonic HS, but it was Dondante whose consistency paid off to earn the Standlee Premium Western Forage USEA Horse of the Year title.

Jan 24, 2023 Volunteers

The VIP Volunteer: Julie Murray

Julie Murray has loved horses since she could breathe, so when her daughters showed an interest in Pony Club and then eventing, she was thrilled to go along for the ride.

Murray started volunteering at the Fallbrook Pony Club near her home in Fallbrook, California, serving as an intermediate district commissioner.

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