Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
I watched the whole video. It has nothing to do with longevity in a horse, or the ability to carry weight efficiently.
Dressage is an admirable sport, but collection is not needed for a horse to move properly or to carry weight. The US Cavalry studied it in the late 1800s, and concluded that dressage principles were counterproductive to the military use of a horse.
That doesn't make collection bad. I have no doubt that a collected horse is fun to ride. And some degree of collection can help with things like tight turns. The lower training scale of dressage has lots of value, since moving freely and with balance is always better than moving without those things.
However, a ballerina moves with incredible grace, but she isn't what I'd choose to haul a heavy load. And while I've asked in the past, I've yet to see a single scientific study that indicates collection and dressage improves a horse's useable lifespan or overall health.
I want to emphasize that I am not in any way saying teaching a horse dressage is bad. It can be wonderful, but it isn't a critical part of carrying a heavy rider, nor of keeping a horse ride-able into its old age. It is normal for a horse to carry more weight on the forehand. That is what their bodies are built to do. Just IMHO.
If anyone has any studies proving otherwise, I'd love to see them.
... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)