Collection Vs. Headset - Page 5

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Collection Vs. Headset

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

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    12-29-2011, 11:04 PM
I disagree somewhat - collection requires connection which cannot easily be achieved in a curb alone. The horse cannot be ducked behind the bit - he must come into it and be supple. This is very hard to achieve without a soft snaffle.
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    12-29-2011, 11:08 PM
Collection can take place without a bit. It seems to me a curb bit, with the right rider, shouldn't be a problem.
    12-29-2011, 11:12 PM
Originally Posted by bsms    
Collection can take place without a bit. It seems to me a curb bit, with the right rider, shouldn't be a problem.
Most riders with a curb simply crank the head in - it takes a very educated hand to collect correctly in a curb.
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    12-29-2011, 11:24 PM
From a western point of view, I agree with both tiny & Anebel. Collection in a curb is absolutely possible but they've generally learned it in a snaffle first.

I also agree with Spyder that the hindquarters need to be conditioned before collection can be expected. A horse without the proper muscle and conditioning cannot get hind legs working under itself properly.
    12-29-2011, 11:27 PM
We may be using different definitions but the same word - which causes confusion. I'm reading V.S. Littauer's "Common Sense Horsemanship". In one spot, he argues - correctly I think - that many of us who use the word 'collection' put an improper meaning to it.
" hear people say that they collect their horses before the jump or in a trappy situation in the hunting field...One in a thousand of those who use this word so easily, really collects his horse. The best of the rest merely refer to the ability of their horses to change their balance by gathering themselves, which is known as 'coming back' and which requires only a simple technique on the part of the rider....and you will have to argue hard to prove that it [collection] is necessary for cross-country riding and jumping." - page 203
Now arguably, if 999 out of 1000 use a word for one meaning, and only 1 in 1000 uses it correctly, then maybe the definition of the 1 is wrong.

However that may be, the OP was referring to jumping. And with my very limited horses and limited riding skill, it is a safe bet that I NEVER 'collect' my horse in the sense a good dressage rider would. That is why I used the term 'gather' earlier - that change of balance where the horse coils up, and gets ready to use his hind legs to power the anticipated change - acceleration, jump, sharp turn, etc.

I think it would take a very special person to collect a horse in the Olympic sense using a curb or training it without a bit - although a well trained horse could then PERFORM it without a bit.

Since the OP referred to jumping, and since I freely admit my limitations, I just wanted to clarify what I meant. I have never ridden a collected horse in the dressage sense of the word. I have ridden my horse where they gather themselves and get ready to use their hind end. That is the momentary 'collection' that I meant.

BTW - I may try to train myself to use the word 'gather' instead of 'collect'. One of my pet peeves is someone applying two different definitions to one word, and it makes sense to me to save 'collect' for the more Olympic-style, dressage collection.
    12-29-2011, 11:38 PM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Also, collection absolutely 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.

The curb bit does not achieve may refine it but it has to be there in the first place.

That is why the curb/double bridle is not introduced before it is...because the collection would have already been worked on and achieved to some degree before the curb is introduced in the higher levels of dressage.

Even the Californian Cowboys with spade bits...did NOT START their horses in that bit but PROGRESSED to it with the spade as the last REFINEMENT on the horse.
    12-30-2011, 12:29 AM
That is true. I agree. I thought that someone said that a horse could not be RIDDEN in collection in a curb.

Yes, earlier training is in a bosal or snaffle.
    12-30-2011, 01:30 AM
True collection is a extremely cool feeling. Never mind about his head, neck, bit, blah, blah. I love the feeling where his back rounds up and his muscles at his sides meet my muscles at my calves. The rest just follows & the energy flows and I capture it in my hands and release it out, like liquid silk.

collection, eventing, flatwork, hunter jumper

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