|I always always always look at the riders hands first. If the riders hands are incorrect, the horse will NEVER have a correct frame. If the riders hands are correct the horse MAY have a correct frame. If the rider has correct hands and is riding effectively the horse SHOULD have a correct frame.|
Yes the rider needs to have proper hand carraige. But that ties into the elbows, and the shoulders.
If the hands are carried, but the elbows are stiff and the shoulders are roached...then that effects the horse.
Then you have to look at the lower back, it is roached? Is it hollow? If either..that effects the riders core, and that effects the riders seat.
Then there is the seat - if the seat is not centered *on all 3 points* then that effects the horse as well. If the rider is on their crotch, now their weight is on their horses forehand. If they are on their seat bones, they are now riding with too heavy of a seat.
Legs - what are the riders legs doing?
There is so much at play for proper and true collection.
Here is an excellant article for anyone intersted to read. I have this permenantly bookmarked in my browser.
::: Sustainable Dressage - Collection & Its Evasions - True Collection - What It Is and How to Achieve It :::
Don't be. Eventer dressage people often don't see the same as a pure dressage person and you can get confused when one of each looks at the same picture and sees things in a different light.
It isn't whether you do dressage as an Eventer, or USDF, or as a Hunter/Jumper or a Barrel Racer or GP Jumper - dressage is dressage.
It isn't what sport you are doing, it is who is teaching you how to do it. That is the key. It is what you are being taught and how you are being taught accordingly.
I have seen "pure" dressage people riding front to back and on the forehand using gadgets to get some false outcome. I see "pure" dressage people riding around on the forehand with their horses heads up high and backs dropped, fidgeting with their horses faces to get some false headset.
Dressage is the biggest phase in eventing. If you do not do well in that phase, you have to work that much harder in the other 2 phases to get ahead of the game.
The tests are judged by "pure" dressage judges.
I see flat work being done incorrectly all the time, because riders are under uneducated coaches - regardless of their discipline. I see flat work being done correctly because they are under educated coaches, regardless of their discipline.