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Collection problems

This is a discussion on Collection problems within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

     
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        09-30-2010, 06:48 PM
      #11
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ErikaLynn    
    Shes 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.

    A good test to see if this horse is balanced and ready for collection ( and the head throwing is not just a "habit") it to WALK to canter the horse and after 6-8 steps take a stronger outside rein against her neck...open out the inside rein a bit and do a quarter turn. If the horse steps over even one stride loosen the reins for a split second take back normal contact and continue the canter.

    This exercise alone will tell you where you are at and even if you feel the horse is ready it will strengthen the horse to be able to hold itself in a better canter. Any break in gait of any sort should result in you taking the horse out of the canter and redoing.

    If the horse cannot even start this exercise in a balanced way then as Anebel stated something is missing in the foundation steps.
         
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        10-01-2010, 11:37 AM
      #12
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spyder    
    A good test to see if this horse is balanced and ready for collection ( and the head throwing is not just a "habit") it to WALK to canter the horse and after 6-8 steps take a stronger outside rein against her neck...open out the inside rein a bit and do a quarter turn. If the horse steps over even one stride loosen the reins for a split second take back normal contact and continue the canter.

    This exercise alone will tell you where you are at and even if you feel the horse is ready it will strengthen the horse to be able to hold itself in a better canter. Any break in gait of any sort should result in you taking the horse out of the canter and redoing.

    If the horse cannot even start this exercise in a balanced way then as Anebel stated something is missing in the foundation steps.
    I think I understand what you mean. I really just want her to stop throwing her head down and just listen to me. As soon as I canter I feel like I'm not in control and she just takes me for a ride. And this just started about a month ago. I get upset, because I thought we were making a lot of progress now it's like I'm going backwards.
         
        10-01-2010, 12:15 PM
      #13
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ErikaLynn    
    I think I understand what you mean. I really just want her to stop throwing her head down and just listen to me. As soon as I canter I feel like I'm not in control and she just takes me for a ride. And this just started about a month ago. I get upset, because I thought we were making a lot of progress now it's like I'm going backwards.
    Red flag. If she wasn't doing this a month ago, and is doing it now, what changed? Horses don't spontaneously develop problems, they tell us things in the only way they can.

    Did you change any tack items? Feed or feeding schedule? Turnout routine? Change farriers? Change instructors/trainers?

    Have you been cantering her all along, and she suddenly started this stuff, or have you been working purely at walk and trot and are introducing the canter and having trouble?
         
        10-01-2010, 01:28 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Scoutrider    
    Red flag. If she wasn't doing this a month ago, and is doing it now, what changed? Horses don't spontaneously develop problems, they tell us things in the only way they can.

    Did you change any tack items? Feed or feeding schedule? Turnout routine? Change farriers? Change instructors/trainers?

    Have you been cantering her all along, and she suddenly started this stuff, or have you been working purely at walk and trot and are introducing the canter and having trouble?
    Nothing changed. But her personality is very stubborn. And when she can find a way to get out of working hard she will do everything she can to take the easy way out. Stuff like this has happened before. When I started jumping her, she was good for awhile then she realized that if she put her head up she couldnt jump them, and would just crash through them. Now she's fine, but I don't really jump often and when I do its small cross rails. Anyway, she used to be very unbalanced in the back, now I'm starting to get her to collect more, and I think she doesn't want to work at it, and is just trying to get out of it. She acts like a bratty pony. She's 14 and has been a broodmare her whole life, and I think this is the hardest she's ever had to work and she doesnt like it.
         
        10-01-2010, 07:20 PM
      #15
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ErikaLynn    
    As soon as I canter I feel like I'm not in control and she just takes me for a ride. .
    Exactly right. You ARE taken for a ride and since you obviously don't understand collection well enough and that there seems there are holes are in your training, your horse is taking advantage every time she finds one of these "holes".

    If this has happened before, I don't think that there is a bad tack fit or soreness so much as bad attitude and a horse that knows they can get away with it.

    If you cannot show or "prove" to this horse that you can negate every temper tantrum and misbehavior from her then it will only get worse.

    My stallion doesn't even try as I clamp down on even the slightest whisker that is put out of place. Doesn't require hitting or beating or anything physical other than he found out he worked 10 times harder at even the slightest indication of a distracted mind.

    From what it seems to me ..you are backing off and you either get someone that can put her in her place and fill in the "holes" or you get stronger ( prob with a coach) and take the initiative yourself.
         
        10-04-2010, 11:03 AM
      #16
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spyder    
    Exactly right. You ARE taken for a ride and since you obviously don't understand collection well enough and that there seems there are holes are in your training, your horse is taking advantage every time she finds one of these "holes".

    If this has happened before, I don't think that there is a bad tack fit or soreness so much as bad attitude and a horse that knows they can get away with it.

    If you cannot show or "prove" to this horse that you can negate every temper tantrum and misbehavior from her then it will only get worse.

    My stallion doesn't even try as I clamp down on even the slightest whisker that is put out of place. Doesn't require hitting or beating or anything physical other than he found out he worked 10 times harder at even the slightest indication of a distracted mind.

    From what it seems to me ..you are backing off and you either get someone that can put her in her place and fill in the "holes" or you get stronger ( prob with a coach) and take the initiative yourself.
    I do understand what collection is. And when I rode the other day I figured out what the problem is. And it's not that I'm backing off it's just she is uses her neck to stay balanced, because she doesn't work off her back end really well yet, she is still building muscles. So I am literally carrying her around the ring and she is using me to balance. But I am still working on getting her to use her hind end more with some exercises my trainer taught me, and I'm sure once she starts using her back end better then she will not need me to hold her up all the time.

    Thanks for your help.
         
        10-04-2010, 06:36 PM
      #17
    Green Broke
    And erika it takes a long time to get them using their hind end consistently and lots of hard work...I feel ya...my mare and I have been working on that for awhile too ;) My trainer always teaches me to stay light in my hands asking for tiny half halts while sitting deep in my seat and driving with my legs to get her on her rear. And it starts out only as a few good strides at which point we transition down and she gets lots of praise.

    The hope is that the few good strides turn into several and it gets to be longer each time :)
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        10-04-2010, 06:55 PM
      #18
    Banned
    Just for clarification's sake, Erika Lynn, what discipline do you ride in and what are your goals with your horse?

    When you say "collected", do you mean you want an connected, shortened gait where the horse is obedient and responsive or do you mean "collected" in the Second Level Dressage and above sense with the horse round, croup lowered, joints of the hind limbs flexed, back and ribcage raised?

    Spyder and anabel are advising you from a classical dressage perspective, and they're assuming your horse is ready for this work from a classical dressage perspective.

    While their advice, particularly the advice about the training scale, is, dead, spot on, I suspect you mean something different when you say "collection", as in, you'd like your horse not to tow you around the arena by the bridle, and to be light and organized in her canter, rather than offering a wrestling match.
         
        10-05-2010, 02:14 AM
      #19
    Trained
    Ok I'll just go by what you have said and won't try to read between the lines to see if you're competent enough etc.
    But, what I would do with this sort of problem, and, funnily enough, I'm having this problem with one of the horses I am working for an owner at the moment. She has got a beautiful trot, but as soon as she goes to pick up canter, she panics, runs, gets unbalanced and falls on the forehand, is this.
    BEND, BEND and more BEND!!! You want to do a lot of work in shoulder in, spiralling in/out of a 20m circle using leg yield (bent leg yield, not true, straight leg yield for this exercise).
    Get an active, elastic, stretching trot on a 10m circle, or even a volte if your horse has the muscle and training to do so. When you are happy with the softness and engagement you have, start to leg yield out with the horse wrapped right around your inside leg. Ask for canter while you're still in leg yield, and through the canter maintain the bend, remaining on a 15m circle. Only ask for a few strides, then bring horse back to trot. Again, maintaing the bend through the transition so you don't lose the horse's shoulder and put it on the forehand.
    This is tough work for a horse that is only starting it, so only do short periods of it through your ride. Just put in canters randomly, don't have a set 'now we will work on canter for 20mins' block. Go by how the horse is feeling, if you feel that you have an active, engaged, light and responsive trot that is bent around your inside leg, by all means ask for that canter. Don't make canter a big deal.
    A take home message, just to drill it in - bend is the key!
         
        10-05-2010, 10:16 AM
      #20
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maura    
    Just for clarification's sake, Erika Lynn, what discipline do you ride in and what are your goals with your horse?

    When you say "collected", do you mean you want an connected, shortened gait where the horse is obedient and responsive or do you mean "collected" in the Second Level Dressage and above sense with the horse round, croup lowered, joints of the hind limbs flexed, back and ribcage raised?

    Spyder and anabel are advising you from a classical dressage perspective, and they're assuming your horse is ready for this work from a classical dressage perspective.

    While their advice, particularly the advice about the training scale, is, dead, spot on, I suspect you mean something different when you say "collection", as in, you'd like your horse not to tow you around the arena by the bridle, and to be light and organized in her canter, rather than offering a wrestling match.
    I ride English, mainly jumpers, my goal for the horse is to be able to take her through a jumper course, but my goal for right now, is I want her to build more muscle and be able to use her hind end, and not be so forward.

    I'm trying to get her canter to be more balanced and not take such a long stride (she can cover the length of the arena in about 4 strides) I want her to use her back end for balance rather than her neck. I can feel her using her back for a few strides, then she just pulls me down and goes back to being on the forehand. I know it takes a lot of work, she just has finally got better at the trot, after about 5 months of practice, but she still isn't perfect.

    She works off my leg and bends really nice at the trot and walk, but as soon as I canter I can feel her just lean on the bridle and kind of use my hands for support. And I am in no way strong enough to carry a gigantic horse around.

    I've been practicing transitions a lot. But any other suggestions would be appreciated.
         

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