How do I collect my horse?

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How do I collect my horse?

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  • Photo of horse showing roundness and collection
  • How to collect a horse when riding

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    06-24-2013, 01:30 AM
How do I collect my horse?

So, I would like to know how to collect my pony, I would like to know how to do this because I might be interested in doing some dressage work this summer. I use this bit on him, if it helps at all:
Korsteel Sweet Iron French Link Snaffle Bit -

So, tips on getting him to collect, or maybe bit recommendations if you believe that could be useful. Also, he has a tendency to be heavy in the mouth, if that helps at all!
Thanks in advance, and all possibilities appreciated!
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    06-24-2013, 02:58 AM
    06-24-2013, 08:10 AM
Collection isn't about the bit.

Unfortunately this is one of those things you can't be taught over the Internet and really needs a trainer. Collection takes a while to work towards and you really need someone on the ground watching your pony while you ride to help fine gaps in training/ability and work on those. You don't want to just crank pony's head down and call it a day.
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    06-24-2013, 10:39 AM
Collection is the ultimate goal. It takes a lot of time, energy, training, patience to get a horse there. It is imperative to either know exactly what you are asking a horse to do and know how it feels when you achieve your request or to have someone on the ground who knows what to look for in a horse and rider. This is not something I would suggest starting on your own. You can mentally fry a horse this way.
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    06-24-2013, 12:11 PM
Ok. A friend of mine is taking dressage lessons this summer, maybe I can ask her for tips. (I can't take additional lessons unfortunately)
    07-09-2013, 12:32 PM
Ok, think I worded my first post really badly...

I meant to say how can I ask him to become more round!
    07-09-2013, 12:55 PM
You really need a trainer to explain it in person; "tips" are not applicable here. Simply put, ride the horse forward from the leg to the hand so he reaches under with his hocks and raises his back.
    07-09-2013, 05:22 PM
Ponyluver, it is good to see you so keen.
Unfortunately collection/on the bit/roundness and whatever else you want to describe it as, is a far more difficult notion to learn and teach to a horse than say something like leg yielding.
I know it is frustrating when you come here looking for a straight answer but everyone else who has responded to you is dead on in saying that this cannot be taught via the Internet.
You really do need an experienced trainer on the ground, to give you real time instruction and tell you when you are starting to fall into the right track. Roundness is an ongoing process which requires that the horse develops sufficient balance and strength to maintain that carriage over a period of time. Collection is another step up from that, and especially in the Dressage sense of the word, takes many years of correct, hard gymnastic training to achieve. It is also constantly developing, there are multiple degrees of collection, some horses may not be physically able to sustain even a basic level of collection, and we have to deal with that.
If you get told to see-saw/sponge or pull on the reins in any way, or told to strap more leather or metal to your pony's head, disregard that advice.

Can you see how this is something to address with a real time trainer?
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    07-09-2013, 10:39 PM
Hey PL as has been said, collection takes time especailly if you want to do it properly and not just make your pony put it's head down.
In the German Training Scale, Collection is the last step. You need to be able to do everything below in order to achieve true collection.

Have a look at this to see what I mean

There are some good books you can read to help you on the path to achieve this, but you can't just learn from a book. You do need a trainer to help.
Principles of Riding by the German National Equestrian Federation is a really good book which has helped me a lot.

ArtToRide has a really good youtube channel as well ArttoRide's channel - YouTube
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    07-10-2013, 01:21 AM
I agree with the other comments. You really need to have a trainer help you with collecting. When I was first learning how to collect, my trainer had me using a german martingale. It will keep the horse from lifting its head past a certain point. It will help with collection, but it won't do the whole job for you. You really need a trainers help to learn the whole package. I now use draw reins from time to time, but it is important that you use them correctly and safely for the horse so as not to hurt there mouth. I would suggest not using them without the help of a trainer. A martingale would be the best route to go to help point you in the direction of learning how to collect, but you cannot rely on it to do the collecting for you.

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