Each horse requires a different amount of warm up than others, your job as a jockey is to find the amount of warm up each horse needs. Some riders will say their horse will wear themselves out so they do not get on with much time prior to their run, this can cause injuries and possibly encourage the horse to be on the muscle at all times. If your horse tends to get overly excited while trotting and loping this may be a horse that will benefit to spend a majority of the warm up walking.

Warm ups are extremely important.     

A good rule of thumb is to be saddled and ready to get on about 1 hour to 45 minutes before you run. It never hurts a horse to do a lot of walking before a run. Spending at least 5-10 minutes of walking prior to exercise and a warm up can help your horses mental state. Try not to jump straight into trotting and make time to walk. This is a great time for you to be picturing a perfect run. When you do begin trotting be sure to trot your horse both directions around 5 minutes each way. Some horses may need more trotting if they have a lot of excess energy. After you have loosened your horse up by trotting be sure to lope perfect circles. Loping circles will help get your horse bending in the nose as well as the rib cage and soften them up for your run. Spend time loping circles both directions until you feel your horse is listening and ready to work. The younger the horse is the more circles you may need to lope. Once you feel confident in your warm up take a few minutes to remind your horse of leg pressure to make them move over and stop and back up a few times. Be sure to take a moment to inspect your equipment, pick feet and tighten your cinch for your run.

    When your horse has a great run be sure to make note of how long you warmed up. Horses love consistency and a consistent warm up time can help your horse get in a winning routine.