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.”
United States Eventing Association (USEA) members at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention were in for a treat on Friday as the U.S. Eventing Team was on hand to discuss their accomplishments this year at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
“Test the best without hurting the rest,” said show jumping course designer Chris Barnard as he and fellow designer Marc Donovan led a lively discussion for nearly 50 participants at the Show Jumping Seminar on the first day of the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
This afternoon, USEA President Louise “Lou” Leslie welcomed U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors members, USEA staff, and USEA Annual Meeting & Convention attendees to the first of two Board meetings which will take place during this year’s Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, with the teaser that 2024 is going to be full of initiatives for more opportunities to access the eventing experience, some of which attendees might get first wind of during this year’s gathering. The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place Dec. 7-10 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.
Welcome to the Show Me state and to Area IV USEA members! The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention kicks of tomorrow and features four full days of educational seminars, committee meetings, and social gatherings all with one aim—to bring the eventing community together to continue to improve upon and celebrate the sport that we all love. This year’s Convention takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Marriott St. Louis Grand in downtown St. Louis from Dec. 7-10, and we have rounded up everything you need to know to make the most of your time in the heartland.