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post #1 of 22 Old 09-30-2010, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Collection problems

I ride a 14 year old very moody Dutch Warmblood mare, and I can't get her to collect at the canter. She just throws her head down and just pulls me off balance. If I squeeze her with my spurs she doesn't put her head up she just goes faster, I feel like she's out of control and she doesn't listen to me. What I have been doing is trotting her and getting her to collect at the trot before I ask her to canter. It works for about 4 canter strides and then she throws her head down and acts like I'm not even on her back. I don't know what to do.
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-30-2010, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikaLynn View Post
I ride a 14 year old very moody Dutch Warmblood mare, and I can't get her to collect at the canter. She just throws her head down and just pulls me off balance. If I squeeze her with my spurs she doesn't put her head up she just goes faster, I feel like she's out of control and she doesn't listen to me. What I have been doing is trotting her and getting her to collect at the trot before I ask her to canter. It works for about 4 canter strides and then she throws her head down and acts like I'm not even on her back. I don't know what to do.
I think if she is sound in all other paces and provided you have a good seat and nothing else is causing her pain.

You should just keep working her transitions , from what you have said it seems she is engaging her hind quarters to go from trot to canter then dis-engaging them and losing shape & balance .

The best thing you can practice is when she dis-engages her hind quarters in the canter take her back to a trott for 2-3 strides and canter again . Its a long process but it will work.

If you are still struggling in a month get a trainer out to help you .

May we all see horses through the eyes of children
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post #3 of 22 Old 09-30-2010, 11:25 AM
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Agreed with Shalani.

If I was in your shoes, my gut instinct fix would be to prepare her as you are (collect trot, half-halt, transition to canter), really ride the canter, owning every stride, and transitioning back down to trot while she is still maintaining collection in canter. Even if it means cantering 4 strides at a time. Don't let her lose it, bring her back down into a nice trot before she can lose it. She may just not have the right muscles built up yet to sustain collected canter for more than 4 strides.

If you keep having problems, I recommend looking into finding an instructor to help you out.

Good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-30-2010, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Scoutrider View Post
Agreed with Shalani.

If I was in your shoes, my gut instinct fix would be to prepare her as you are (collect trot, half-halt, transition to canter), really ride the canter, owning every stride, and transitioning back down to trot while she is still maintaining collection in canter. Even if it means cantering 4 strides at a time. Don't let her lose it, bring her back down into a nice trot before she can lose it. She may just not have the right muscles built up yet to sustain collected canter for more than 4 strides.

If you keep having problems, I recommend looking into finding an instructor to help you out.

Good luck!
Thanks. She still has trouble knowing where to place her back feet, she was a broodmare her whole life she didnt have too much training. And she is a huge brat. She will do whatever it takes to get out of working too hard. She just discovered that if she throws her head down she doesnt have to work as hard
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-30-2010, 12:32 PM
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I highly agree with everyone above.

Also, make sure you are keeping a strong seat. My guy does this to me once and a while and it really helps to keep those shoulders back.

My guy has issues with engaging his hind end, so I do a lot of trot work and transitions to help him strengthen.

It takes time, practice and patience, but she will get it!

"No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle ~ Winston Churchill"
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-30-2010, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ErikaLynn View Post
Thanks. She still has trouble knowing where to place her back feet, she was a broodmare her whole life she didnt have too much training.
Mine was too and has the SAME problem...it took me a year to get her balanced and off the forehand enough to fix her trot, and now we're focusing on the canter. What everyone else said is what my trainer always reminds me...half halts and transitions...it's a long process, trust me I know lol If you need someone to bounce ideas off of, I am dealing with this exact issue and my trainer is helping to train it out of my mare and teaching me to do the same, so maybe I can help by sharing tips from my lessons with you!

I have one tonight -- where my trainer is riding her for me, then I'm getting on and doing the same...I'll let you know if she has any tips specific to this very issue ;)

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post #7 of 22 Old 09-30-2010, 01:06 PM
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Rhythm
Relaxation
Contact
Impulsion
Straightness
Collection


Without the first 5 steps of that scale firmly in place, how can you expect collection. If you can't keep the mare on a good contact or in rhythm, why are you worried about collection? Follow the scale and train in a systematic way, the rest will fall into place.
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-30-2010, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
Rhythm
Relaxation
Contact
Impulsion
Straightness
Collection


Without the first 5 steps of that scale firmly in place, how can you expect collection. If you can't keep the mare on a good contact or in rhythm, why are you worried about collection? Follow the scale and train in a systematic way, the rest will fall into place.
she's good with all of the above with the trot it's just the canter.while cantering she keeps a steady rhythm (like a giant freight train flying around the arena). She's relaxed, she just throws her head down so she doenst have to work, I keep a steady contact on her mouth at all times. She's straight 90% of the time. So I don't understand what you mean. Could you please explain better. Thanks.

Last edited by ErikaLynn; 09-30-2010 at 01:40 PM.
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post #9 of 22 Old 09-30-2010, 01:41 PM
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If you say she is "like a giant freight train running around the arena" she is not in rhythm.
If she just "throws her head down" she is not correctly in the contact.

I highly suggest you google "dressage training scale" for an explanation. Or watch some of Jane Savoie's videos on YouTube or buy a dressage lesson. Someone else may be able to explain it, or you could look up old posts about it.
Good luck!
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-30-2010, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
If you say she is "like a giant freight train running around the arena" she is not in rhythm.
If she just "throws her head down" she is not correctly in the contact.

I highly suggest you google "dressage training scale" for an explanation. Or watch some of Jane Savoie's videos on YouTube or buy a dressage lesson. Someone else may be able to explain it, or you could look up old posts about it.
Good luck!
Yeah, thanks for the help
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