For a horse that's a worrier and likes his routine, walking out for the first five minutes sets this pinto boy up every time. It's something I ask all my horses, was taught by French cavalry officers, bless them, that works with youngsters and advanced horses too back in those competing days – something that all top UK event riders back then did. Get on at your event pre-dressage, walk around the parklands for five, 10 minutes, and then start suppling up proper. Level-headed and with the outside ribs on a bit of flex means deeper diaphragm breathing, relaxation, and then, the way a horse's ribcage is set up, the topline to the atlas joint and first vertebrae trip jawline release.