By Allison Armstrong Rehnborg

Try these tips to spruce up your next warm-up routine and remember to take Draw It Out Horse Liniment Concentrate along for the ride!

You’ve likely heard that engaging in adequate warm-up time before every ride is essential for both you and your horse, but do you know why? The answer is simple. First, imagine mounting up and immediately sending your horse over a series of jumps or launching into a large, fast circle without taking time to warm up. At best, your horse’s performance will be substandard. At worst, your horse will be at increased risk for soreness, lameness and injury. That’s because cold muscles are brittle muscles, and brittle muscles are more likely to tear or sprain. 

Now imagine longeing your horse before riding, or mounting up and working your horse in large and small circles at the walk and the jog before diving into the real work of the session. You can already imagine the difference in the way your horse is moving and performing, can’t you? That’s because a good warm-up routine prepares your horse’s body for exercise in two ways. Warming up before riding helps your horse’s muscles to become warm and elastic (hence the term!). An adequate warm-up routine also elevates your horse’s heart and respiratory rates so that plenty of blood and oxygen is flowing to those same hard-working muscles. Plus, warm-up riding is a great time for you to regain your sense of feel in the saddle, stretch your arms and legs and prepare your own body for the work ahead.

Depending on what discipline you ride or what you’ve got planned for your day in the saddle, your warm-up routine may look different every day. As long as you start slow and then gradually increase the difficulty of the warm-up, you’re doing it right. Your horse’s age and fitness level may also play a role in how much and what kind of warm-up your horse needs. For example, a young green horse may need plenty of longeing time in addition to warm-up under saddle, while an experienced and trained horse may only need warm-up under saddle. 


Bored with your warm-up routine or looking to change it up? Give these three exercises a try.

Longeing is a great exercise that allows young horses to get their wiggles, bucks and kicks out without throwing you around in the saddle. You can free-longe in a round pen, or use a longe line and longe in any flat, grassy area that’s large enough to accommodate the activity. Remember to ask your horse to change directions and gaits! If you’re longeing a slower, older horse, use a long longe whip against your leg or to flick against the ground to encourage them to change gaits as needed.

Tired of riding the same old circles? Branch out into riding figure-eights, weaving poles or executing a three-leaf barrel pattern. Remember, your goal isn’t to go fast. You can take all three of these exercises at the walk, jog and lope, all the while focusing on making neat, tidy turns and ensuring your horse is listening to your cues. 

Incorporate obstacles. For trail fans, lay out a few trail poles in fun patterns and practice going over poles or (later in your warmup) sidepassing along poles. If you plan to jump, set up a few cavaletti before you mount so that you can incorporate them into the later stages of your warm-up routine. 

Ride a spiral. Spiraling in or out is a great way to ensure your horse is listening to your leg and rein cues. To spiral in, start riding a large circle and then gradually begin applying the appropriate aids to ride in smaller and smaller circles until you reach the center; then start spiraling out again. 


If you’ve been reading our #TeamDiO Spotlight blogs, you already know this secret (and if not, you’ve been missing out!). From barrel racers to reiners to eventers, #TeamDiO members love using Draw It Out Horse Liniment Concentrate before every workout to help reduce inflammation, prevent soreness and ease deep and soft tissue discomfort. Its proprietary mineral blend is based around an Epsom salt profile, and it’s safe to use in a spray over the whole body, as a soak or as a poultice on specific areas. For general maintenance, use a 70/30 (Water/DiO) mix.

Still need convincing? Check out these liniment testimonials from some of our past #TeamDiO Spotlight Blogs!

“We use Draw It Out Horse Liniment Concentrate before rides to alleviate soreness, and if we’ve had a big workout, we’ll automatically bathe the horses in it afterwards. We’ll use that nose-to-tail for prevention of soreness in the horses.” – Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride, three-day eventer.

“We bought the Draw It Out Horse Liniment Concentrate, and I really liked it. Our horses felt good on it. It was easy to wrap, and it didn’t burn them or burn my hands, so I could use it every day at a horse show. I also loved being able to spray it on their backs and all over their bodies, just for preventative maintenance. I loved the feel and the smell, too!” – Deanna Searles, all-around trainer.

“I’ll religiously use the liniment before, during and after every competition. Before saddling, I’ll spray the concentrate under [my horse’s] pad and on his shoulders and his neck. I’ll also use the [Draw It Out Horse Liniment Gel] on his legs and tendons and underneath his boots.” – Mollie Himes, mounted shooter.

Got a favorite warm-up exercise you’d like to share? Tag us on social media and we might share your tips in a future blog for our readers!

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