Collection Vs. Headset - Page 4 - The Horse Forum

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post #31 of 48 Old 12-29-2011, 07:56 PM
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I am wondering though. What comes first? Softness or collection/forwardness?
My take on it is, if you have no forward, there's nothing up front to "collect". If you have no softness, the horse is just going to brace against the bit and half halts will not go through. In the whole grand scheme of things, I don't think anything really comes first other than relaxation. You can't teach anything to a tense horse

I guess that's why I like the hacking in fields idea so much. It builds muscle very quickly, gives the horse's mind a rest, usually produces all kinds of forward, and the rider gets to experience a horse truly reaching into the bit rather trotting around a flat ring in endless circles trying to find the missing ingredient.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #32 of 48 Old 12-29-2011, 07:59 PM
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My take on it is, if you have no forward, there's nothing up front to "collect". If you have no softness, the horse is just going to brace against the bit and half halts will not go through. In the whole grand scheme of things, I don't think anything really comes first other than relaxation. You can't teach anything to a tense horse

Completely agree- you need to have the softness, and progress from there. If your horse is resisting, something has gone wrong training/pain are usually the problems, and then you need to correct that- otherwise you're hanging on to a lot of horse when you want to come BACK from going forwards ;D
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post #33 of 48 Old 12-29-2011, 08:03 PM
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I don't compete in anything. If you saw me ride, you would understand why.

However, for me, riding is about building a relationship with my horses so that WE are trying to handle something TOGETHER. If I am thinking about going into a canter, I want my horse to feel it, gather himself, and then unwind. If we're doing a sharp turn at speed, I want him to pull back a little and power his way thru the turn with his rear because HE knows to do it.

So for me, softness and trust comes first. Then we have the basis to push things together. But I don't compete, so I don't know if that approach would work for anyone else.

"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."
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post #34 of 48 Old 12-29-2011, 08:11 PM
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I don't compete in anything. If you saw me ride, you would understand why.

However, for me, riding is about building a relationship with my horses so that WE are trying to handle something TOGETHER. If I am thinking about going into a canter, I want my horse to feel it, gather himself, and then unwind. If we're doing a sharp turn at speed, I want him to pull back a little and power his way thru the turn with his rear because HE knows to do it.

So for me, softness and trust comes first. Then we have the basis to push things together. But I don't compete, so I don't know if that approach would work for anyone else.

But it shouldn't matter whether you compete or not.. I have only done one out of house show, and a couple in house but they were jumping. I am hoping to get out more next year... but competitions or not, the basics for horse riding, once you have your own basics sorted out (C'mon guys.. we all had that awkward riding trot phase ;D) is softness, suppleness and the connection with the horse no matter what discipline... it just appears there are different ways to do it...?

Regardless of competitions, we always learn with our horses, and should always want to learn :) Because some compete it doesn't make their riding any different, in the fundementals, to a happy hacker! Sure, you can add a few more fancy leg movements in etc, but w/t/c and transitions to and from are all about achieving the same thing..
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post #35 of 48 Old 12-29-2011, 08:13 PM
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So for me, softness and trust comes first. Then we have the basis to push things together. But I don't compete, so I don't know if that approach would work for anyone else.

Yes softness..non resistant comes first....only from there can impulsion be built.........HOWEVER..

Not from a blocked front end. Drive must be directed from the hind legs. This can be from hill work or by lateral work and over time the hind will get stronger that will allow the rider to be able to ask more and the horse can give more.

Only from this point will the energy from the rear ALLOW the front end to get lighter and the head will come round and be in a frame that FITS the horse's level of training to that point.
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post #36 of 48 Old 12-29-2011, 08:23 PM
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But you don't ask for collection from the 'face' of the horse, or even connection. That's what makes a horse heavy on the fore, lean in to the hands of the rider and ignore aids from the bit.

To ask from collection, a correct half halt is required, at the right time, whilst the inside leg gives impulsion on the trunk, the rider uses its seat. Its not just about using your hands to bring your horse's nose to its chest, you have to collect an ENTIRE horse, not just the front end.



I do not think Paint girl is saying to pull the horse's head to its' chest. What she is describing is very close to the half halt, except that she has not included the use of the seat to momentarily restrain the forward motion. Perhaps she is doing this without realizing it, as many accomplished riders do.
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post #37 of 48 Old 12-29-2011, 08:46 PM
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There is 0 backwards motion of the hand in a half halt. There is a moment of suppling and a give - the give is the important part.
The legs are on to engage the hindlegs and the seat drives and stalls as needed.

Collection has very little to do with the speed of the horse and correct self carriage requires years to develop and although the horse is carrying himself - the connection is quite strong, but not hard.
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post #38 of 48 Old 12-29-2011, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all SO much for your advice. I'm really using all this to my extent, but for me the only thing here that helped me with my main question, exercises to get more muscle in the hind end and get them to push instead of pull, was the hack :\

I think that was my fault though xD I wasn't clear enough in the earlier post.

The only thing I am a wee bit disappointed at was a comment in here stating that western was about beating into submission etc. I do hunter, eventing, and jumpers, but I also do western pleasure and team penning. I know MANY western riders who treat their horses better then a lot of my English team mates. This was a thread to ask about collection, not your view on what the other discipline is doing wrong.

Thank you all who commented. :3
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post #39 of 48 Old 12-29-2011, 09:33 PM
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Correct riding builds correct muscles.
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post #40 of 48 Old 12-29-2011, 09:48 PM
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I do not think Western riders have a monopoly on incorrect use of spurs or curb bits
Also, collection absolutley can be achieved with a curb bit. WAy back there, someone said it cannot but this cannot be so. Even in dressage, a double bridle is used in the higher levels, with part of that bridle being a curb bit.

The Californios cowboys are excellent riders who ride with collection and self carriage , in a curb bit.
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