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Surviving The Warm-up Arena
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   9th Apr 2011   •   13,831 views   •   47 comments
Have you ever taken a moment at a show, to pause before entering the warm up? Do you ever look into that deadly hornets’ nest of an arena and think, "Holy doughnuts, I’m going to get crushed in there!"? If you haven’t – good for you – but those of us with any sense of self preservation whatsoever will certainly have experienced just how threatening a place the warm-up arena can be.

In the dictionary of Polo’s strange brain, a warm-up arena is defined in the following way:

Warm. Up. A·re·na / Noun

1. An unhappy place, packed chock-a-block full with savage riders sporting raised hackles, unsheathed claws, and bared teeth.

2. A terrifying place made for the sole purpose of allowing riders to threaten and intimidate one another in the traditional pre-competition ‘psyche up’ that has become a necessity in all sports in this day and age – since winning alone is no longer enough. Everybody wants to crush those who dare oppose him or her.

3. An exclusive place, for the sole use of the lucky survivors who wish to warm their horses up for competition.

Now that we know what a warm up arena is, let’s have a look at the classic warm-up arena hierarchy:

Those who have complete disregard for the hierarchy. (Usually pony riders)
Higher grade adult riders.
Lower grade adult riders.
Higher grade junior riders.
Lower grade junior riders.
Higher grade pony riders.
Lower grade pony riders.
Those too placid or polite to fight with tooth and nail for their warm-up arena rights.

So, when it comes down to it, there is no hierarchy. The ruler of the ring is simply the one with the sharpest tongue or the pushiest attitude.

We now have appropriate knowledge of what a warm-up arena is, and how it works – so next let us look at the wide variety of species that populate this deadly place.

The Shouters


Those who BELLOW at the top of their lungs to friends, instructors, or fence posts at the opposite end of the arena, thus blasting the ear drums of anybody in the nearby vicinity.

Surviving The Warm-up Arena

The Hit-And-Runners


Those who knock the warm-up jump, then gallop off before anybody can ask them to put it back up – leaving everybody else to do their chore for them.

The Policemen


Those who are determined to make sure that everybody in the arena follows every single rule or guideline perfectly – even if they don’t know the rulebook properly themselves. They often feign deafness and stupidity whenever somebody objects to their unreasonable ‘commands’.

Example1:

Policeman: "NO JUMPING WITH A DRESSAGE WHIP!"

Polo: "It’s the warm-up...I’m taking my jumping crop into the ring..."

Policeman: "NO JUMPING WITH A DRESSAGE WHIP!"

Polo: ... -_-

Example 2:

Policeman: "RIGHT SHOULDER TO RIGHT SHOULDER!"

Polo: "Um, no, they changed it – there’s a notice on the gate."

Policeman: "RIGHT SHOULDER TO RIGHT SHOULDER!"

Polo: ... -_- "It’s left-to-left…"

Policeman: "RIGHT SHOU-"

Polo: ... -______- *Rides off*

Example 3:

Policeman: "RED FLAG ON YOUR RIGHT!"

Polo: "RED FLAG ON YOUR RIGHT!"

Numerous onlookers: *Gasp* "That rider jumped the wrong way..."

Everybody: "RED FLAG ON YOUR RIGHT, DANGEROUS FOOL!"

*Everybody grabs torches and pitchforks to chase after rule-breaker*

(Bottom line: Guys... We do NOT do the warm-up jumps backwards...)

Surviving The Warm-up Arena

The Rebels


Those who hold a complete disregard for the rules, and like to pull stunts like jumping warm-up jumps the wrong way (-_-), riding dangerously close to everybody else’s horses, cutting into jumps in front of other riders who have already presented their horses to the jumps, etc. etc.

The Ignorant Squirts


Riders new to competing – often pony riders – who come across as rebels due to an innocent lack of knowledge. Usually end up being tackled and handcuffed by angry policemen.

The Gossipers


Those who spread vicious rumours – both true and untrue – about their competitors. Notorious for plotting friends against one another, and destroying the self-confidence of the soft-hearted.

The Know-It-Alls


Those who always want to tell everybody else what to do, because they think they know best.

The Attackers


Those who intentionally try to intimidate everybody else by riding threateningly close, hogging the warm-up jumps, and tongue-lashing anybody who knocks down the warm-up jump before they’ve even had a chance to put it up.

Example:

Attacker: "HEY! You knocked down the jump! You can’t just ride off, get back here!"

Polo: *Is still landing from jump* ... -_- "Give me a chance, sheesh..."

(Bottom line: Don’t knock the warm-up jumps. Or have somebody close at hand to pick up the pole for you before it even hits the ground, otherwise you will be skinned alive.)

Surviving The Warm-up Arena

The I’m-More-Important-Than-You-So-I-Matter-And-You-Don’t-ers


Those who ignore others, and refuse to apologize if they did something wrong.

Example 1:

Polo: "You knocked down the jump, and the rest of us still need to warm up...Won’t you pick it up?"

I’m-More-Impor- (You know what? Let’s call them the ‘Imps’)

Imp: (To self) "Is that rider really talking to me...? Seriously? How uncool..." *Rides off with hand hiding face*

Example 2:

*Imp’s horse lashes out at Polo’s horse and catches Polo in the leg*

Polo: "Oh my doughnuts, I’m so sorry! Are you okay?!"

Imp: "..." *Rides off*

Polo: -_- (To self) "I’ve got to stop apologizing for things that aren’t my fault"

(Bottom line: I beat that rider in both classes despite a bruised leg. Justice was served, Little Miss Imp! MWAhahaha- *Coughs* ...)

The Nice’uns


The perfect ones. Those who don’t really exist, yet who we all consider ourselves to be.

Bottom line: If you think you can deal with all these terrifying creatures, then you have mastered the arcane art of surviving the warm-up arena.

Congratulations, and happy competing!

Note: If this insulted you in any way whatsoever, deal with it.

One of The Nice’uns, Polo the Weirdo.
Painted Destiny  
Loved it! Absolutely Amazing!
  Apr 9, 2011  •  5,874 views
 
Soul Horse  
I am so nervous I have seen the warm up arena.. what a dangerous place... I have never showed but I am this summer the first thing that came to my mind was... " Oh crud! I am going to die in the warm up arena before my class even begins!" I not that agressive, my instructor is always saying "be more agressive! Act like it's one of your sisters." I also ride with a girl who is a mixture of an Imp and attacker..
  Apr 9, 2011  •  5,893 views
 
Artista  
Funniest article I've read in a while. You crack me up girl.
  Apr 9, 2011  •  5,895 views
 
T W I  
I think I died laughing!
  Apr 9, 2011  •  5,930 views
 
Untamed Heart  
LOL!!! Thats funny
  Apr 9, 2011  •  5,886 views
 
toffeelola  
once again another smile-cracking news article from Polo bravo *claps* if I ever actually manage to get near a horse again I will be sure to follow your guidelines for the "warm-up arena" and Karma came back and bit that imp in the butt!
  Apr 9, 2011  •  5,897 views
 
Madeirey  
Wonderful Polo!!! Best work since the grammer newletter!!!!
  Apr 9, 2011  •  5,869 views
 
ImaCoolCowgirl  
Fabulous!! I was showing with a friend of mine and as we were warming up some half crazy gaming horses came into the ring and rode the OPPOSITE way. The gameing horse bucked and reared it way around the ring until it almost hit my friend. Her horse reared and she fell off. She got back on and Placed in trail.
  Apr 9, 2011  •  7,913 views
 
Emma Watson  
Loved it! Absolutely Amazing!
  Apr 10, 2011  •  5,910 views
 
Polo the Weirdo  MOD 
I'm really glad this gave you all a laugh! :D If there's anything I can improve on, please do let me know! ^_^
  Apr 10, 2011  •  5,878 views
 
Beeswax Crusade  
I love your articles, Polo XD My horse hates the warm up arena, he pins his ears at anyone who gets too close... and usually I'm too late to the show to use it, so I end up warming up on a patch of grass nearby. Perfectly fine with me. I don't need to be skinned alive 0.0
  Apr 10, 2011  •  5,917 views
 
Horses4Ever  
Absolutly the warmup ring is the scariest place at a show. It makes the show ring seem like nothing. At pony finals there must have been about fifty (not exaderating) ponies in the warmup ring at once. Anouther group to look out for is the pack. The pack is a huge group of riders from the same giant stable who all ride in the same gate in on big bundel kind of like a biker gang, and it's always the pony riders. Every on has to move aside when the pack pony biker gang comes along!
  Apr 10, 2011  •  5,927 views
 
No Walkin Farms9  
Polo, you never cease to amaze me. This was hilarious. A great start to my day. Thanks. :)
  Apr 10, 2011  •  5,924 views
 
Wanderin Boy Memorial  
lol Great article Polo !
I have a show in 2 weeks and the warm up arena is the one that I worry about.
I'm one of the nice ones even though I will be riding a pony I'm not one of those ignorant squirts
xD
  Apr 10, 2011  •  5,925 views
 
Cruisin Past Curfew  
Hahaha I love this article :D Cute pictures too :D
  Apr 10, 2011  •  5,892 views
 
Raychel  
That was great!... I absolutely love your articles, great job! =)
  Apr 10, 2011  •  5,914 views
 
Dark Star  
Polo..l was laughing so hard at this..but these people do exist sadly
  Apr 10, 2011  •  5,891 views
 
Thestral  
I like it! It both explains how rude people are, and what not to do in a warm up arena, but it is also humerous! Nice pictures by the way. i like the angry mob one best! :D
  Apr 10, 2011  •  6,158 views
 
T E M P E S T  
Love it! *lol*
  Apr 10, 2011  •  7,071 views
 
Seven Sins  
love the deion, great article
  Apr 10, 2011  •  7,041 views
 
Falling Up  
HAHA you had me smiling the whole time..
  Apr 10, 2011  •  7,057 views
 
Candy99  
I am a Nice'un. I loved all of your photos =) And I loved the whole article!!
  Apr 10, 2011  •  7,088 views
 
Fantasy Farms  
That was so funny! GOOD ARTICLE!
  Apr 10, 2011  •  7,324 views
 
Labyrinth  
I love your definition of the warm up ring! I've been to plenty of 4H shows and this article suits them perfectly. They finally built another larger warm up ring so they didn't have fifty horses in the 50x50 warm up ring! Plus the other 20 horse/riders standing on the rail watching the class that's in. All this complete with the odd 4H advisor or adult telling people nonstop to get out of the warm up ring. hahah
  Apr 11, 2011  •  7,734 views
 
Flying Change  
Wow that's a lot and I love it
  Apr 11, 2011  •  5,982 views
 
Clair L  
wow that sound like Kansas
  Apr 11, 2011  •  5,986 views
 
Stay Untamed  
Hilarious!Love it! :D
  Apr 11, 2011  •  5,993 views
 
Isadorable  
Awesome article Polo! Nice drawings!!
  Apr 11, 2011  •  5,978 views
 
MoMoz  
Again, another hilarious article by Polo!!! hahahaha It is soo true though!!!
  Apr 12, 2011  •  5,989 views
 
Emmurr  
haha, this is just awesome xD
  Apr 13, 2011  •  6,135 views
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