I've seen her and her horses, and whilst they are calm and happy, I wouldn't say they are collected. That's not saying much, since most competitive dressage horses aren't collected either.
Look up Philippe Karl. If you want to do dressage, in the best way possible, that man is a genius and puts the horse before anything else. I find that people like Karen treat the horse like a friend, and their results are as such--happy, and good, but not great.
Philippe Karl treats his horses like human Olympic athletes. With respect, careful consideration for the gymnastic abilities and exercises, and a quiet knowledge that is just amazing. Those horses don't love their work because they're being told their awesome by their 'friend'--those horses love their work because they are ridiculously proud of what they can accomplish. They are proud of their work.
And to see a horse proud of it's work--proud of itself--THAT is what true dressage is about.
Dressage in Jeans
- My blog with dressage tips for happy, relaxed horses, specifically for those who ride dressage in western saddles, no saddles, cowboy boots, or jeans. ;) Also now with cute pygmy goat pictures! :P