Yeah. It's a thing. A real thing. After running into another situation Monday where I was riding with people completely unaware of spacial awareness ("Oh, ha ha. I never ride with other people, so I didn't even think to call out anything!"), I was feeling so frustrated that I went off on a long winded, expletive filled rant to Hubby who promptly suggested I do a blog post about manners.
Challenge accepted Hubby, though don't think I'm not housing my suspicions you only said that to shut me up.
Here are a few things that I feel should be implemented into every warm up ring--no matter the discipline--and should you not follow them, you get kicked the fuck out.
First of all, there's one golden standard that holds true to every warm up everywhere on the entire fucking planet. Ever heard of it? It's a little mantra that goes "Left shoulder to left shoulder." That means that when you pass someone, your left shoulder should pass their left shoulder.
This is not rocket science.
I can't think of a single instructor that hasn't told me this at some point in my riding career. Is this not being taught anymore? Are you people that aren't following the rule just ignoring it, or are you just out to get me?
And on that note, if you're not going to follow left to left for whatever reason (and I'll allow that there are certain times it's not possible), here's another generally accepted rule when you're trying to be polite: Call out where you're going. By the way, "Heads up!" does not count as a direction.
Heads up? Heads up to the left or to the right? Are you just going to continue on your path without blinking and inevitably run into me when I fail to swerve the direction you telepathically told me?
Those are words that make my heart sing.
Let's jump off the directional difficulties for a second. Being an eventer that also does dressage shows, I run into a lot of people carrying long whips. Please know how to hold them. Please don't flail about with them. Don't let them poke out three feet to the side. Don't wait to crack your horse a good one the second I go by you. And most importantly, don't ever let your whip touch my horse. Ever.
One more rule that centers mostly on flat warm up. You know that 20 meter circle we all love? We all love it. So you're not the only one that wants to go on that track. Is there enough room for you to never leave your circle? Probably not. Therefore MOVE, especially if you're stuck on a circle right where everyone else needs to pass you. Having to constantly dodge your dizzying ass makes no one happy.
Are you a jumper? Hunter? Eventer? Basically, do you need to go over stacked poles as part of your warm up? Call out your jump, and do it well before you're one stride away and you're about to do an unintended team jump with another rider.
Has someone else called out the same jump you wanted? Don't cut in line. Circle, trot to give them some space and then pick your canter back up, come back around again, or detour to another jump. Crashing or yanking your horse up abruptly does not make for a well structured, confidence building warm up.
Be polite. Follow rules. Don't make me go crazy rage bitch pissed on you in warm up.