Can the horse "collect" itself?
 
 

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Can the horse "collect" itself?

This is a discussion on Can the horse "collect" itself? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • How to get a horse to collect
  • True roundness dressage

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    08-17-2011, 11:35 PM
  #1
Showing
Can the horse "collect" itself?

I have kinda strange feeling last couple times I've been riding my paint. She's very energetic, so trying to go forward. Which I don't allow with my seat and hands (not sitting on mouth ). So instead she gives me lots of leg action. Hard to explain, but knees are really working (and I feel her moving shorter strides and higher, and like a spring under me (not tense though)). With that being said she's round and on bit. It just feels... different... Not bad, but not same as always. She seems to enjoy it though. So my question is what can it be?

I asked mom to take some videos when she has a chance (not sure when its going to happen though). I'll also talk to my trainer next lesson. Just was curious if it sounds familiar.
     
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    08-18-2011, 12:14 AM
  #2
Super Moderator
Responding to your title, I would say that it's only natural for a horse to collect itself. In fact, as you know, it is that position where the horse brings its' balance point back and moves more energy into an upward , lofty spring which we see sometimes when horses go toward each other, to meet for the first time, perhaps, and they are interested and maybe a bit challenging to the newcomer. YOu will see them lift and extend the neck in what Deb Bennet (the conformation guru) calls "the neck telescoping gesture" That neck position is something we want, for the lower levels of dressage and as the horse progresses, one would ask for a more closed arch and even more upward transfer of energy.

I think your horse is collecting and carrying herself AND you. COOL!
     
    08-19-2011, 05:44 PM
  #3
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
I have kinda strange feeling last couple times I've been riding my paint. She's very energetic, so trying to go forward. Which I don't allow with my seat and hands (not sitting on mouth ). So instead she gives me lots of leg action. Hard to explain, but knees are really working (and I feel her moving shorter strides and higher, and like a spring under me (not tense though)). With that being said she's round and on bit. It just feels... different... Not bad, but not same as always. She seems to enjoy it though. So my question is what can it be?

I asked mom to take some videos when she has a chance (not sure when its going to happen though). I'll also talk to my trainer next lesson. Just was curious if it sounds familiar.

Hard to say without a video. We must be careful to not think that higher lift in the legs alone is in fact "collection" as there can be so many deviations that would, to a novice appear to be collection.

Hovering steps, prancing ( even slow) or the animation from "too much energy" can be interpreted as collection but they are not.

Then again you could have touched the "right" buttons and she responded.

Next time you will have to "capture" the moment.
tinyliny likes this.
     
    08-19-2011, 06:00 PM
  #4
Banned
I think based on this description
Quote:
and like a spring under me (not tense though)
, yes, your horse may have offered you a moment of collection in reponse to some combination of factors you may not have been aware of.

As Spyder said, the trick is capturing and repeating the moment the next time.
     
    08-19-2011, 08:29 PM
  #5
Yearling
It could be that she is finally using her back/working in a more "through" fashion and what you feel is her being more put together and her back lifted up under you. So in a sense, yes, she is probably more collected and not strung out.
^This is exactly what is happening with my project pony. She's not collected in the way you would have a collected trot in a dressage test, but she is finally becoming through, moving with a topline stretched over her back, meeting and accepting the contact, etc. And boy does it feel great! Yesterday was the first day that I felt like I was riding a dressage pony. :)
     
    08-19-2011, 09:48 PM
  #6
Showing
Thank you, folks! I'll try to make a video when I have a chance (as I'm curious to hear what you all think).

I did talk to my trainer about it today (I brought my qh for the lesson and also brought up my concern about paint moving "funny"). And she said from the way I describe it the horse is trying to get away from work rather than doing any "collection". Which very likely is true. So instead she suggested to send her forward (NOT run) to more extended gait coupled with more figures to keep her mind busy (rather than looking into shorter strides/canter). So will give it a try tomorrow!

IW, I think you are right. I have a feeling she finally got what means "travel round" (she's on dummy side, so it takes her FOREVER to get anything at all) and just trying to use it to her advantage now.
     
    08-20-2011, 12:23 AM
  #7
Yearling
^ Sounds like maybe she's smart and is now just trying to trick you... which is exactly what my pony does! She is also a very forward moving horse and now I have also noticed that now she tries to duck behind the contact. That is when I am able to drive her forward. Before I got her to this point, when I would drive, she'd just run and her legs would go like a sewing machine. Now that I have the roundness/throughness I can drive and push her into the contact with more power from behind and not have it all escape through the front. Yay for progress!
     
    08-20-2011, 12:29 AM
  #8
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandWave    
^ Sounds like maybe she's smart and is now just trying to trick you... which is exactly what my pony does! She is also a very forward moving horse and now I have also noticed that now she tries to duck behind the contact. That is when I am able to drive her forward. Before I got her to this point, when I would drive, she'd just run and her legs would go like a sewing machine. Now that I have the roundness/throughness I can drive and push her into the contact with more power from behind and not have it all escape through the front. Yay for progress!
Problem with mine she wants to canter. She never really cared but now she can use her back and she seems to enjoy it. She trots nicely first 20-30 mins, but as long as I start working on canter she doesn't want to trot anymore. So she basically tries to switch to the canter whenever she takes a chance (BTW, departure is nice and she stays connected and bent and just keep circling if allowed), and gets all POed and to shorter strides when I don't let her. Will see if I'll be able to "extend" her rather than going into canter.
     
    08-20-2011, 12:42 AM
  #9
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
Problem with mine she wants to canter. She never really cared but now she can use her back and she seems to enjoy it. She trots nicely first 20-30 mins, but as long as I start working on canter she doesn't want to trot anymore. So she basically tries to switch to the canter whenever she takes a chance (BTW, departure is nice and she stays connected and bent and just keep circling if allowed), and gets all POed and to shorter strides when I don't let her. Will see if I'll be able to "extend" her rather than going into canter.
This is what you need to do and what I mentioned on your last test critique.

Opening up the gait will make the horse work harder so the easy out is to simply canter. This is actually an evasion on her part.

Look over that half halt thread for the answer to lengthening her in in that thread.
     
    08-20-2011, 04:27 PM
  #10
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder    
Opening up the gait will make the horse work harder so the easy out is to simply canter. This is actually an evasion on her part.
Lol! That's almost word to word with what my instructor said.

So... I worked with her today. She trots nicely TILL I start working on canter. And then she doesn't want to trot anymore but only canter (again, the transition is nice, and canter itself feels very nice). So after cantering once I basically just worked her in circles on trot with stronger half halts till she wear out some energy and as long as trot became what I want I asked for the canter again. The bad part - I didn't canter much (just couple times in one direction, and just once in other). Good part - we worked on trot a lot (almost hour of pretty hard work).
     

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