Good example, Sunny! And actually, from all I have read and heard, a walker should never have the rider "in its mouth" that much, because it actually restricts the smooth gait and prevents that characteristic head-bobbing that is natural. LoL, now we're getting somewhere.
Good nose tucked in a true collection, soft and giving:
(paint I showed earlier)
The difference? Collection. True enlightening of the front end creates the best gait.
Hm..I see what you mean.. but I can't really see the paint step in under him/herself, and the underside of the neck is still stiff, to me it looks more like she has learnt to yield to the bit, but by breaking off in the neck and at the withers, rather than actually lifting the front and the back and get the butt under him/herself. Especially compared to how high the head frame is (had the frame been lower and more relaxed, I'd accept it as a good, honest frame and start on collection.. now I see more of a uncollected horse with a high head and shortened neck, but not following up in the rest of the body.) altho relaxed in the poll and yielding to the bit.
How come gaited horses seem to have such problems to get a lower headset that matches their bodies grade of collection?
Crow has the same thing, high headset compared to how little he actually collects. Even in walk and trot.
Is the usual criterea for a good frame the same for a gaited horse in gait, or is it by some reason different?
I'll use Crow as an example again, just so you won't think I'm just bashing your horses :P
Except that his gait really suck and my balance act is even worse, let's look t the frame. Trhrough my traditional eyes I'm really happy that his nose is actually on the vertical and that his neck is lowered (compared to his usual headset). I'm also happy that his back isn't all hollowed out.
And that's where thatnends.. his neck is way too shrt and he is in fact bracing the bit; the underside of the neck is tensed. His hindlegs is strutting behind him, altho his frontlegs isn't under him and taking extra weight either, so at least he's not falling forward, he's just not activating his butt to take the extra weight that is me, off the front. Not collection in any way and not even a very good basic frame thanks to the tensed, short, bracing neck (which automatcally transfer tensions to the back). I'd prefer a more forward nose with a lengthened neck before this, actually..but oh well :)
Here is a picture of him that feels better: he's on the forehand and not collected, but he's yielding to the bit without bracing against it as far as I can see and he's relaxed throughout the body.
The ait is a little better I think, but still not a very good gait.
His rider looks like the candy store just threw her out tho :P
Contact or no contact isn't exactly what I'm talking about.. :3 But just the frame, not the cues or aids,
(To get Crow further down I really have to work and genly switch between contact and easing contact to make him seek the bit)
What I am talking about is when the neck is high and arched but the rest of the body doesn't follow the same level of collection. So that the horse ''breaks'' in the middle so to say.. and the headset is just a tucked in nose and very short, tensed neck instead of a long relaxed topline.. it's not more true collection to me than the heavy-contact-bracing-the-bit-with-nose-in-air horses..
I think I'll try to make a picture to show the cionnection I see between the neck, back and stomach.. just as much to make it clear for you as for myself what I mean and how I think about frame vs collection...
I don't think that collection, especially extreme collection, is as necessary as a good basic frame... Since a good basic frame will let the horse work flexible and supple without tensions even tho it's not collected (=carrying the weight on the hind), but a horse in a forced collection that does step in under himself still won't be very flexible and loose in the body, and the tensions causes more and quicker problems physically than to have the weight a bit off (as long as it's resonable, I mean. And not to mention the horses mind and how rthat's affected by a forced ''collection'' or frame..)
Ok..this is pretty long..and let me know if it doesn't make any sense at all..O__o
This is what I concider true collection for non-gaited horses.
Is there any reason for gaited horses to not aim for the same frame?
(As I said in the .gif, I'm not necessarily aiming for the extreme collection, but for that type of collection that comes from an engaged stomach and hindquarter, with a raised back, and not from the head being pulled up (by horse or rider doesn't matter in this case). With ''my'' collection, less activity behind takes a lower neck to keep the spine strong.