We have all been to a show and the warm-up pen is chaos. A very important part of the show is the warm-up so let’s talk about warm-up pen etiquette. Protocol may vary slightly by venue, discipline, or event but overall warm-up pen etiquette is simple – good manners. Keeping your head up and an eye on what is going on throughout the pen will help keep yourself safe but also your fellow riders.
Be courteous to the other riders when entering the arena. Please don’t mount or dismount your horse where others are moving. Travel in the same direction of other horses. If you are riding past another rider going the opposite direction pass like you are driving a car – left shoulder to left shoulder. Being polite in a warm-up pen can go a long ways.
We know that everyone needs to warm up so having some respect for other riders will allow for everyone to accomplish their goals. Please don’t lung your horse in the warm-up pen; head to a lunging area for this task. Also, don’t tailgate another horse. Give them at least 8 feet between you and the other horse. This gives yourself enough room to maneuver away from trouble if needed. On that note, please do not stop your horse in main traffic. The inside of the circle is for slower speeds while the outside is to go faster. If the majority of horses are walking and you need to lope then move to the outside. If riders start to line up on the short wall of the arena then its fencing time. Please stay out of the middle and proceed to the corners or long walls. If you are fencing yell “heads up” if someone is in your way as to not cause an accident. It’s important to get your horse warmed up but we want everyone to be safe while doing it.
All in all, we want everyone to have a great show. It’s important to have a sense of humor and be courteous towards all riders. This may be the first show for some riders and some may not understand proper warm-up pen etiquette. Please be courteous to other riders and no cell phone use in the arena. Please have respect for other riders and use common sense. If everyone follows these guidelines we will have a safe, productive warm-up pen and show.
Arena Etiquette: What is appropriate in the warm-up pen? Carroll Brown Arnold
Americas Horse Daily. Warm up to Etiquette: Part 1.