Don’t Drop The Puppy, And Other Words To Yell In The Warm Up Ring, A Follow-Up Post


Awareness of the outside world. Speaking of searching for the right word. MW: Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year 2021, ‘Vaccine,’ plus ‘insurrection,’ ‘cicada,’ ‘perseverance,’ and more of our top lookups of 2021.

Y’all are awesome.

I asked for words. You came up with words.

A few days ago, I wrote a post asking for words that mean unstiff. [Riding Needs A New Word]

You delivered. I started to respond in the comments, but realized I had thoughts about each one. If I have that much to say, I smell a blog post, Et voilà.

Here are the suggestions.

Suave & Smooth

Suave, perhaps? In the “smooth” sense.


I love this. The word “sauve” is unexpected in this setting, so it catches your attention. Plus it has undertones of elegance and debonair confidence, attributes we can all use more of in the saddle.

Ride sauve!

“Smooth” is equally fitting, with undertones of calm and tranquil seas. (I’m reading about Yankee whaling at the moment. Smooth sailing is good.) We can also use calmness and imperturbable tranquility in the saddle.

Ride smooth!

Puppies and Kittens, Oh my!

Hmm. I feel like this ‘made out of wood’ state can be found in other situations… (at least for me). Maybe it’s the difference between holding a stack of plates or the line when water skiing, and how one has to hold a kitten or puppy? ‘Soften’ or ‘relax’ too much and you drop them, too tight or ‘stable’ and they squirm or scratch you, lean forward and you both might end up splayed on the ground.


Can’t you see standing in the middle of the warm-up ring and yelling, ‘Don’t let the puppy scratch you!”? That will get your rider’s attention. Such a great encapsulation of the concept, with humor to lighten the mood. You won’t get a laugh out of your rider – this it the warm-up ring after all – you might get a smile.




Doh! Smacks forehead. Yes, exactly. This is the antonym for stiff. Dunno where it was hiding in my head.

Ride supple!

To Recap

Suave! Smooth! Supple!

I love having the right word. Now I have three, plus the puppy/kitten thing.

So awesome.


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