Having a strong warm up routine can not only improve your horse’s fitness and prevent muscular tension and injury, it can also improve your overall partnership and trust in each other. Beginning with a loose rein, allowing your horse to walk and stretch gives him time to relax, use this time to also allow yourself to become calm. Think about your breathing and see if you are holding any tension in your body, if you are breathe into the area and encourage the muscles to relax.
Within this exercise you will be working on improving the trust within you and your horse, whilst allowing you both to relax into a good canter rhythm. It is also fantastic for encouraging your horse to push from his hindquarters and improve his balance, allowing him to warm up his back muscles and improving their muscular development.
This exercise is also about your balance and fitness, you want to remain light throughout the exercise otherwise you will be putting too much pressure on your horse. You need to focus on your posture and breathing, using your weight and seat to encourage your horse forward. Keep your leg on to ensure your horse is pushing from behind, if you feel he is running away from you, slow your breathing, ask him to slow with you voice. You are looking to improve your connection with this exercise, allowing your horse to realise you are working together, not against one another.