Originally Posted by Newby32
Thank you! I realized during a 4 hour trail ride today that my horse rides best with direct contact. A fellow rider kept telling me during our last ride that I needed to give him his head. When I give him his head, he thinks I want to go faster. He kept the pace that I desired as long as I held contact.
We visited Brazil a few years back and visited many breeding farms. At one a lady who was with us (and a devotee of Parelli) decided to "give the horse his head." She dropped her hand and as she did so the horse dropped its head and nosed out, looking for the contact. When it didn't find it it started to speed up (trying to "catch" the bit). She was about two strides from a full blown runaway when she picked up the contact and the horse resumed its normal, excellent way of going. It was a pretty clear lesson to anyone who watched it.
"Collection" in the gaited horse is a bit different than in a trotter. If you bascule
(round out) a horse you move the gait to the diagonal. You can make a pacing ASB trot if you bascule
them enough. So the back in a gaited horse is going to be neutral to very slightly rounded. As long as you've got the back and front end "connected" the back end working then you're OK. This isn't Competition Dressage; don't do what they do!!!
The bit is the device for communication with the horse. Collection is but one
aspect of that communication.
If your horse will collect up and gait on a loose rein then you're OK. If it won't then you'll probably have to ride in contact.