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This is a discussion on Collection/Outline within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Horseback ridding lessons outline
  • Compendium outline

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    12-13-2010, 10:49 PM

Alright, well I just had an AMAZING lesson. I've never asked a horse to collect themselves or go in an outline before, so this was my first time and it was so cool! I've never had a horse really go on the bit before.
I have started riding an Arabian pony recently, and this was my second ride on him. I. Am. In. LOVE. He's really sweet and not high strung or hot headed at all. He does whatever you ask. Somewhere along the lines, he has had pretty good training, or so Im guessing. He's the kind of horse that does everything you ask, no questions asked. And my trainer said that he's the type that is always looking back at the rider, looking up to them. I can tell this is true, because whenever I feel unbalanced or shift to the right/left, it's almost like he goes along with me to keep me up there. And he's reeeally touchy. Barely a nudge with your legs and he responds.

Anyways, back to the topic. It felt so...amazing? To feel an actual connection with a horse. I ride with soft hands, soft seat, soft legs...Im not really a rough rider, so to speak. It's just the way I am. Sometimes that's a bad thing, because I need to learn to be more demanding on tougher horses, but it's why I fit so well with this horse. I've always ridden with barely any reins, probably cause I don't rely on them, but when my trainer told me to drop my hands lower, take up a liiiittle bit of rein and push him forward, he immediately collected himself up and started to work of the bit. It almost felt like he was pulling the reins out of my hands because of the connection. It felt awesome. He almost -over- collected, so what do I really so when that happens? I pulled up more rein to kinda...position his head so he wasnt all the way collected. Is this what Im supposed to do? I am having trouble gauging how much I need on the reins/how his head is supposed to be positioned. What's a good outline?

Overall, an AMAZING lesson, and Im so ecstatic! I've finally found a horse that is a really good match for me! Now off to find a horse like him that's a bit taller to buy ;P
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    12-13-2010, 10:58 PM
Good work! It sounds like you have a special little pony to ride and spend time with. :)
    12-13-2010, 11:09 PM
Originally Posted by PumpkinzMyBaby22    
Good work! It sounds like you have a special little pony to ride and spend time with. :)
Thanks! It's really weird too cause I trust him quite a bit even with just two rides!
    12-14-2010, 01:28 AM
Having a horse on the bit feels so much better to the rider, and though the horse may have to work harder, it is better for them too. The whole point is that the horse shift some of its' weight back toward it's hind end. And by doing this, his pelvis tuckes under and his back comes up and fills out under you and LIFTs you. That's why it feels good.
You will work on finding that point where you are putting too much focus on the rein and not enough on the hind end. Of course, as you know we work toward pushing the horse to step under with his hind legs and push toward his front. YOUR contact on the bit has the effect of containing that forward energy and making it come UP rather than "falling out the front end".

If the horse starts to come back behind the bit, then you ease up on the contact and push him more from behind until he comes forward to the contact. But if he's coming too much behind it, then you may have too much or too rigid a contact. You have to kind of dialogue with the horse's mouth. It takes a LOT of time, hours and hours and hours of working at it. You are at the tiniest tip of the iceberg.
    12-14-2010, 06:18 PM
Excellent explanation! Thank you!

Yes I still have a ton of work ahead of me, as this was the first time. But we were able to maintain the contact for quite some time before I got tired and lazy :P So I think he's pretty well off on knowing what to do, it's just up to me now.
    12-14-2010, 08:09 PM
I clearly remember the first time I felt how the reins work in a dialogue with the horse and how exciting that was. It is a huge leap.
    12-14-2010, 11:56 PM
Yeah it just makes me want to keep progressing further!

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