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This is a discussion on Collection within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Collection on a horse

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  • 2 Post By equitate

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    06-30-2013, 07:10 PM

I'm trying to really understand what collection is, so is this a good video explaining it?

I remember when my trainer had me starting to teach my horse to "follow the reins" by loosening them, and pushing him forward into them, while having him stretch his neck. Was this collection being taught?

A while ago, an old 4H coach would have me trotting my horse, and then round my heels up into him to get him to round his back. Is this a way to get collection?

I'm trying to put the pieces together and really find what will work. Anyone have good exercises to do on my horse to work towards collection?
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    06-30-2013, 07:27 PM
I don't think this is collection, just riding the horse to where they begin to support themselves and their rider by using the muscles along their spine. It's basic accepting of contact. No bracing against the bit.
    06-30-2013, 09:29 PM
Then what is collection?
    06-30-2013, 09:45 PM
Collection is AMPLITUDE of stride and greater thrust created by a horse folding/compressing all its hind leg joints more as well as having a shortened base of support (the hind legs are more under the horse with the joints all bent). As a result the balancing rod/neck is lifted and arced more (with the horse closer to the vertical).

A horse which is allowed to go fdo (forward/out/down) is chewing the reins from the hand and seeking the hand; that is a TEST of the horse being properly 'on the bit' in the rest of the work.
Weezilla and plomme like this.
    06-30-2013, 11:42 PM
Go for "engaged". This is a really cool article I just found
What does 'on the bit' really mean?
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    07-01-2013, 12:01 AM
However, there are doe mistakes in the bearing (of the chestnut horse), and the talking about the parallelness of the legs (it is not forearm of fore leg and lower leg of hind). Look at weight bearing lower legs. And a horse should be up and open (in front of vertical...required by the fei/usef rules). And the forefeet will always land toward where the nose points, if it is not ifV the hindlegs will ground early.
    07-01-2013, 08:51 AM
I'm starting to understand it.

I'm not sure if the image worked, but on the training pyramid, collection is defined as "increased engagement, lightness of the forehand, and selfcarriage". Is this the essence of what is supposed to happen when collection is achived?
    07-01-2013, 07:22 PM
Originally Posted by KylieHuitema    
I'm starting to understand it.

I'm not sure if the image worked, but on the training pyramid, collection is defined as "increased engagement, lightness of the forehand, and selfcarriage". Is this the essence of what is supposed to happen when collection is achived?
Yes but it's more complex than that.

I am no expert at all. But pictures do help me. Collection is the difference between this horse:

And this horse:

And this horse:

See how each picture is "round" and using their back, good step under. Now look at each photo and take note of the hind quarters. In the last photo the hind quarters, specifically the croup, lowers, and the hocks are loaded "think compressed like a spring" and in the other photos the hind quarters are either lower or level with the shoulders.

Since the hocks are compressed, the horse's strides are more elevated than say the horse in the first photo's strides.

Also notice how short the neck becomes and how elevated the neck is. This isn't forced on a horse. Notice how the riders aren't pulling back.

Again it's not a perfect definition of collection but it's a very lengthy process to get there.


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