Achieving Collection? Hmm... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 12-28-2009, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Achieving Collection? Hmm...

Hello everybody! :)

So my question has to do with collection/on the bit/whatever it should be called. I think in my stage of riding I am really concentrating on making sure the horses that I ride are staying light in their face, easy on my hands, holding the bit for themselves, and pushing from behind. In order for me to achieve this, I first start working on having lateral flexion mastered before I work on vertical flexion. When they give to the pressure, I release them. Then, in order for vertical flexion, I squeeze with both my legs, take up rein pressure. When they give, no matter how long it takes them, I give back the reins. The mare that I rode at school caught on to this very quickly and now ALWAYS stays soft in her face for me. I take up the reins lightly and she's got her nose in. She's even gotten to the point where I can gently squeeze my legs and she tucks her nose in.

I guess what I want to know is, am I doing this right? In the pictures below, is she behind the vertical? Is she avoiding bit pressure? How much pressure should I feel in the reins to know the difference from pushing against the bit and being "on the bit"?

Whenever anybody else rides her, her nose comes straight out and gets very heavy in her face and gets on her forehand. Its like no one knows how to ask it of her and she is more than capable of doing it! Then when I get back on her, I have to fix her up.

I'm not really sure what I'm asking, so I'm sorry if this sounds confusing. I guess I'm looking for more information on collection and being on the bit.









Amber.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas Edison
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post #2 of 32 Old 12-28-2009, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminiJumper View Post
Hello everybody! :)


I'm not really sure what I'm asking, so I'm sorry if this sounds confusing. I guess I'm looking for more information on collection and being on the bit.

First of all there are several threads (one recently) in the dressage section covering this subject.

As far as the pictures are concerned................

The top two I throw out because collection cannot be achieved on a horse not moving). In the other two pictures, no the horse is not in proper collection. No contact with the bit.
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post #3 of 32 Old 12-28-2009, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Okay. Thanks.

Amber.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas Edison
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post #4 of 32 Old 12-29-2009, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Anybody else? I wasn't able to find that other article.

Amber.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas Edison
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post #5 of 32 Old 12-29-2009, 02:25 PM
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in the bottom two pics your tipping forward and ur hands are way too low and there is no contact with the bit so there is no collection, you need to be driving her more forward at this point and pic your hands up

"The horse you get off is not the same as the horse you got on; it is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible the change is for the better."
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post #6 of 32 Old 12-29-2009, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by GeminiJumper View Post
Anybody else? I wasn't able to find that other article.

REALLY understanding collection.
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post #7 of 32 Old 12-29-2009, 04:54 PM
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Your biggest problem is that you are creating a headset to 'induce' collection.

A horse's head falls on the vertical due to proper conditioning.

Putting your horse's head back in order to create said-proper conditioning, is backwards, and ultimately, inefficient.

You can argue that you're not pulling, and I would agree. You're doing something that is harder to train out--you are making a horse trained to back away from the bit. If a horse is supposed to create contact with the rein and take out the slack themselves, your horse will never do this. The moment she feels rein pressure, she was taught to release.

This is very hard to train out of a horse; the first thing I would start would be long and low, and your horse reaching for contact with your hands. Push your horse forward but don't restrict. You've got your work cut out for you if you want to work towards real collection.

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post #8 of 32 Old 12-29-2009, 06:12 PM
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Your biggest problem is that you are creating a headset to 'induce' collection.

A horse's head falls on the vertical due to proper conditioning.

Putting your horse's head back in order to create said-proper conditioning, is backwards, and ultimately, inefficient.

You can argue that you're not pulling, and I would agree. You're doing something that is harder to train out--you are making a horse trained to back away from the bit. If a horse is supposed to create contact with the rein and take out the slack themselves, your horse will never do this. The moment she feels rein pressure, she was taught to release.

This is very hard to train out of a horse; the first thing I would start would be long and low, and your horse reaching for contact with your hands. Push your horse forward but don't restrict. You've got your work cut out for you if you want to work towards real collection.
Too right. The 20 year old I just got for my dad to learn on travels like this. Doesn't matter how much leg you put on and how much rein you throw away, that head does NOT come off his chest! I cannot for the life of me put him straight into long and low, it's next to impossible as he is so stuck in that frame. Instead, I use a million transitions, changes of rein and SHOULDER IN! About 10minutes of this and he starts to pick up his back and take up the contact. Being 20, it's going to be difficult to totally correct this behaviour, and since he is intended for my beginner father to ride, not myself, I'm not going to mess with him too much.

Sorry for the long story, but yes, a horse that drops back off a contact is an absolute bugger of a thing to correct!
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post #9 of 32 Old 12-29-2009, 08:31 PM
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Collection ironically has nothing to do with the horse's head. It's all in getting him to use his hind end to bear weight instead of just using it to propel the front end forward. Once the hind end bears more weight, the front end, aka the shoulders become lighter, and the whole front end lightens up. It just happens to result in the head coming into that pretty head set, but it's just an after-affect of the shoulders being lighter.

There's a good book and helped me really start to understand how to properly manipulate my horse's hind and front end to get him to start to transfer weight toward the back of the bus. It's called Build a Better Athlete. It's 20 exercises. Some may seem very basic, but if you do them correctly, you'll start to feel your horse change underneath you and start to get an idea of what proper body usage really feels like.

From the pics, it looks like you ride with kind hands since your horse is giving to the bit very nicely. You probably already have the relaxation part going for you. Good luck.
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post #10 of 32 Old 12-29-2009, 08:41 PM
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believe it or not you can achieve collectiogn without that much contact... I have seen people collect a horse without a contact. (well, onyl one person to be truthfull, lol) just wanted to throw that out there for all those people saying you need contact to acheive collection. :) by the way, geminijumper... you are on your way to achieving collection!! just keep working, it will eventually come

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