Shelby (Boisjoli) Meged’s Warm-Up Routine

A good warm-up routine helps your horse focus and decreases the risk of injury.

"The warm-up is very important for making sure your horse is listening to you."

Shelby (Boisjoli) Meged rides the best breakaway horses in the game, and their warm-up is a critical part of their success. Borrow her routine to get your horses prepped—physically and mentally—before you back into the box. Watch the full video on

“Horses look to us for guidance; they look to us to tell them it’s going to be okay,” Meged says. “The warm-up is very important for making sure your horse is listening to you and relying on you to tell him where to go. That’s going to help a lot with scoring your horse in the box and just having his trust the whole time.”

Small Circles

Shelby (Boisjoli) Meged riding a circle as part of her warm-up routine for breakaway horses
Watch the full video.

“I start with trotting some small circles. I’ll wiggle my pinky finger and I want my horse to tilt his head off the movement of that pinky, nice and soft. And I’ll go both ways. This helps to stretch their neck out as well. Make sure your horse is able to move both ways and feeling good.”

Halt and Back

Shelby (Boisjoli) Meged backing up her horse as part of her warm-up routine for breakaway horses
Watch the full video.

“Then I’ll practice the stop—one time—to make sure the horse is listening to my seat. I always back up after I stop my horse. It helps them get their hind end underneath them and to always think ‘come backward.’ That helps pop the rope.”

When to Stop

Watch the full video.

“Some horses take more warming up than others. I think an adequate amount of time to warm up is until your horse is soft and listening to you and you feel like he is ready to do his job without hurting himself.”

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