When I broke Skippy!, the headset came before the hind end engaging did =) We started him on the standard height headset, and as we would trot, I would hold him slightly and make him move into his bit/bridle, which resulted in the hind end impulsion.
Its what I do with all th horses I train =) From my experience, its easier to get the hind end impulsion with the basic understanding of the headset. The impulsion will definitely make the collection more "complete" and effective though!
Do what you and your trainer thinks will work for ya best!
Thanks for the crit! =)
You were probably not forcing him into a frame though, right? Because, yes I agree, that you need basic contact but I think riders should work long and low first. It's impossible for a horse to carry a true frame unless he's developed the muscles through his back end, otherwise it will just be a false, stiff frame. I'm assuming what you mean is teaching him to respond to your hands through light head carriage while
working him with lots of leg?
I'm not really sure about impulsion with younger horses, since my horse is a "been there done that" horse. It's just me "getting there" with her. I find when I try to establish a headset first, we just end up in a mess
Here is basically, in a nutshell, what I do: I ride on a loose rein first at a walk, work at a motivating the walk in both directions where she has to move underneath herself. Then I'll assume rein position and work on bending, with very very light contact and lots of leg to push her forward. When I ask for halt, I should only have to squeeze and she's there on a dime (we're working on this and she's getting so much better).
When I work at the trot, I start on long rein again with basically no contact and lots of leg, getting her to push herself forward from her hindquarters and lift up her back. I can feel her back lifting and getting supple as she starts to step underneath herself. Then I assume hand position and work on bending. I find sometimes she will put herself into a headset herself since she is able to carry herself through her hind end and back all the way to her neck.
When I ask her for halt or walk all I should have to do with her is squeeze (with hands) and she's there because she responds well to light hands.
I've been really trying to focus on a back to front method rather then worrying about where her head is at the moment. I figure that after a long, concentrated effort on the back end, and building of those muscles, she will put herself into frame easily and on her own with light contact to hold the frame.