#2 Take care first of the forward drive and relaxation
Often you’ll see that warming up equals strolling slowly around the arena for a little while.
Of course, you need to give your horse the time to warm up, but you do want your horse to be responsive to the leg aids.
Try to be consistent. For him, it’s very confusing if he doesn’t have to be responsive in the first 15 minutes, and then later on.. he does.
#3 Ride your horse towards the hand and ensure he wants to accept it happily
It’s crucial to ride your horse towards the hand. You want to receive the forward drive with a friendly hand.
Your horse should experience your hand as pleasant and accepts it willingly.
It’s possible to check this yourself by opening your hand.
Does your horse has the tendency to follow your hand forward-downward? Then you know you’re on the right track!
Does he press his neck upwards? Then you know the connection isn’t great yet, and you should try to establish the basic principles first.
#4 Don’t ride short turns
Especially with a young horse, you don’t want to ride too many short turns and small circles during the warm-up.
That requires more balance and bending. Besides, you first want to have forwardness and that’s easier when you ride long lines.
First try to ride your horse forward on two reins, towards the hand, before you start riding many of turns.
Do you have enough forwardness and a nice connection?
Then you can start to influence and improve the left-right balance during the warm-up. Pay attention that you take on both reins equally and try to bend the horse around the inside leg instead of only flexion in the neck.
If you flex the neck too much.. you’ll disturb the forward drive and won’t get bending through the whole body of your horse.