Effective warm-up (WU) prior to exercise can increase performance and decrease injury risk. Little is known on how riders design and implement WU routines in training and competition. A two-phase study aimed to understand show-jumper and dressage rider decision-making when selecting WU routines during flatwork sessions at home. An initial survey identified rider’s perception on warm-up use and decision making. Then, ten riders competing at intermediate levels in dressage (DR) (n=7: 39 warm-ups) and show-jumping (SJ) (n=3: 22 warm-ups) videoed their horses’ WU; duration, gaits, transitions, and specific movements were recorded by a single observer. A post warm-up form was completed by riders (DR:4; SJ:2; total WU=44) to assess riders’ memory and perception of their warm-up, and gain information on external temperature, and horse / rider age. Rider WU profiles were formulated and differences assessed through a series of Friedmans and Kruskal-Wallis analyses. Riders warmed-up for a total of 24 mins ± 7.1 mins (DR: 22 mins 3 secs ±6 mins; SJ 27 mins, 29 secs ± 8 mins). Riders spent most time in walk (DR: 48.3%; SJ: 56.4%). Riders (88%), who recorded >3 WUs, WU sessions significantly differed over time (P<0.03). Out of the 44 WU analysed, riders accurately recalled 13.6% of the routines. No significant differences in total WU duration or total time spent warming-up in walk were found between temperatures <5°C and > 30°C even though riders said the adapt their warm-up to the weather during the stage 1 of this study. Warm-ups at home seem to be rider and horse dependent but are not discipline or climate specific when preparing for a flatwork session at home.
|Journal||International Journal of Equine Science|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 16 Nov 2023|