We had rain and below-freezing temperatures the day and night before the horse show, so we had to move the show, including the warm up area, into the covered arena at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia.
Space was tight, and we needed to make use of every possible inch of usable arena space. Coach Jennifer's configuration, shown below, fit the bill.
Here is how you ride this warm up pattern:
- Enter the warm up area from the left hand side of the diagram and track left toward Fence 1. You have the option of going directly to Fence 1 or making a circle in the bottom half of the warm up area.
- After Fence 1, continue on the left lead along the rail, then turn left across the diagonal and execute either a simple or flying change (determined by the needs of the horse), and proceed on the right lead up Fence 2.
- After Fence 2, continue on the right lead along the rail, then turn right across the diagonal executing another simple or flying lead change and ending up at the main show ring in gate.
A few notes about this configuration:
The two warm up fences are placed right up on the rail, which allows the maximum amount of usable space, but also allows no space along the rail between the warm up area and the main show ring for coaches to stand and coach their riders. To fix this issue, during fence classes, the coach of the rider in the show arena stands in the in-gate area along with the show steward. No other individuals are allowed inside the warm up area.
During flat classes, coaches and riders are allowed to stand along the rail that runs between the warm up area and main show ring, but are asked to exit the area once the flat class begins lining up to allow the first rider in the next fence class to begin her warm up.
Using this warm up pattern, we were able to make a large IEA show run continuously all day long with no noticeable delays and finish at a reasonable time.
I love learning new ways to make IEA shows run smoother and more efficiently. Do any of my blog readers have a different warm up configuration you prefer? Please share in the comments.
And a huge thank you to Jennifer Mastronardi and the Middle Georgia IEA team for putting on a well-run show and inviting me to be your steward. :-)
Amanda Garner is an Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), and Georgia Hunter Jumper Association (GHJA) steward, schooling show judge, head coach of the University of North Georgia IHSA Equestrian Team, and owner of Epiphany Farm, LLC in Dahlonega, Georgia. She is also a member of the IEA Board of Directors and the author of "A Parent's Guide to the Interscholastic Equestrian Association."
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