collecting horse's head help? (eng. + wes.) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 05-03-2011, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Arrow collecting horse's head help? (eng. + wes.)

hey peeps of HF!
So I'm having some trouble collecting Cheyenne's (my lease) head. Both english and western. In horse shows she's alright but I'd like to be able to do it at the barn too so that I can practice properly.
My instructor (Cheyenne's owner) sometimes stops to watch me do it and she'll give me help but Cheyenne really respects her owner (well she respects me too just not in the same way) so she'll act so good with her around. Her owner calls it the seesaw what I'm supposed to do. How I use lots of leg to push her into my hands and then I bring in one rein then the other to pull in her head. Either she'll do it fine then pop it back up slowly or she'll throw her head up and down so that I can't get her to do it or she will just refuse to do it period.
Any help? With the throwing head up and down too. I hate it when she does that and she does it forever. What do I do with that? Sometimes I'll smack her with the crop (not insanely but enough so that she'll stop and just go faster) but I have a feeling that's not what I can do in horse shows (acually I know that's what I can't do in shows) so what do I do with that.
Also something that she'll do is whenever I switch gaits she'll pop it up again. and she doesn't like doing it in the canter/lope either.
Pleeeeeeeaaaaasssssseee help me if you can!! Thanks so much!!!!

Oh Cowgirl Up
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post #2 of 42 Old 05-03-2011, 11:45 PM
Green Broke
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Please do not "seesaw" on your poor horse's mouth. If it achieves anything it will be horse in a false frame without any real collection.

Collection comes from behind. Your hands are in charge of keeping a soft contact while you ride the horse up and in to the bridle. Your horse needs to come to the bit, you do not take the bit to her.

Trojan 09.11.02 - 26.10.10 // Kody 01.09.89-25.06.12 // Rex 05.11.95-21.12.12
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post #3 of 42 Old 05-03-2011, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheyennes mom View Post
Her owner calls it the seesaw what I'm supposed to do.

The owner of this horse needs to learn to ride correctly.

Seesawing the 200% the VERY worst thing you can do.
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post #4 of 42 Old 05-03-2011, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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soo....then... I don't like pull... as in tug if that's what you are thinking of... on her mouth. I more.... ugh I'm really failing with describing today. um.... well it's more of a squeeze of my hands. If I just push her forward all she'll do is go faster. She doesn't really seem to come to the bit. She runs and walks and moves with her nose out.
HowClever- What do you mean by riding up? I have a feeling that that might help me a bit.

Spyder: she can ride believe me- you haven't seen her. She just calls it seesawing because it's one then the other it's not like I'm killing my pony's mouth. I promise I would NEVER do anything to hurt that horse and neither would her owner.

Please tell me what I'm supposed to do instead of saying everything that I'm doing wrong. pwease. I appreciate it that your tellin me what I'm doing wrong but also please include what I should do. thx!!

Oh Cowgirl Up

Last edited by Cheyennes mom; 05-04-2011 at 12:03 AM.
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post #5 of 42 Old 05-04-2011, 06:30 AM
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Don't seesaw. Ever. Well, ok, if the horse bolts and you fear your own life then perhaps you may seesaw to regain control..

It's incredibly hard to describe IRL and near impossible on a forum.
First I'd need to see how you ride to know what to correct, and then I'll have to explain in a way that you know what I mean rather than think you know and yet miss that detail.. so I'l have to see if you got it right etc.

I'll try. What you need to do is to ride a lot of circles and figures, by this you can collect one hindleg at a time which is easier for the horse. When it's strong enough it will step under with both hindlegs equally and you get yourself a piaffe ;)
However it's most important how you ride the figures. First, make sure you don't yield in your side (i.e. dropping a shoulder or something). When you turn, don't just twist your waist, you need to get everything with you in the turn and still sit straight. First turn your head, let the shoulders and hands folow, your hips (and since the horse is turning with you, it's outer side will be longer when it bends and your outside leg will move a tad back, which means your inside leg will be a tad in front of your outside when the horse bends), make sure your outside knee is firmly to the horse, it's what's telling the horse to move the shoulder and turn, and your outside foot should be paralell to the horses side. The inside shouldn't stray away too much but rather gently drive the inside horse-hindleg forward and under you.

As for the reins, the outside rein should be stretched and in a light contact. The horse will drop the nose if it works right through the body, but you can help it by taking the inside rein out from the horses body and in again softly in a leading way, as if a rubber band was fastened between your hands. As soon as the horses nose drop, you stop.

Make sure the turns are good in both directions and don't ask for a drpped nose untill they constantly are good. Make sure you sit straight over the horse and use the right cues. If it doesn't work, check your own seat first, that's where most of the problems come from.

Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.

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post #6 of 42 Old 05-04-2011, 07:25 AM
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If what you describe is how the owner rides then I'm sorry, but she doesn't know how to ride. HOWEVER its also possible she couldn't explain it correctly to you. Here is a thread on similar problem How do you get your horse to round/reach down? I highly recommend to read. You can also do the search on "collection", "frame", and "head set": there are multiple threads in "Training", "English", and "Dressage" sections of the forum with lots of explanations and advices.

BTW, you don't collect the head, you collect the horse.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

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post #7 of 42 Old 05-04-2011, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Zab- wow you are a great describer I could never describe that stuff lol! Anyways, thanks! If it's okay I'd like to print that out (along with anything else from other people that I'd like to try) and try it step by step next time I go to the barn.

Kitten_Val- thanks I'll check out the thread and do a search :)

I just realized that I think I'm saying everything completely wrong. lol like the title of the thread. What I meant was arch the horse's neck and for her to give in to my hands and stuff if that even makes sense (as you can see I can't describe ANYTHING). But whatever I need to collect in lots of my shows and I'm not amazing at it-it's probably something I really need to work on along with extending without completely speeding up.
Did I say that right or are you guys telling me how to like arch the neck and I'm just a messed up person who doesn't know what she's talking about? :p lol Either way...
(I'm messing myself up so I'm going to shut up now)

Oh Cowgirl Up
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post #8 of 42 Old 05-04-2011, 10:11 PM
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We know what you're wanting to do - get a pretty arched neck and tucked in head? And you're not experienced enough to know how to use your seat and leg to ride a horse up into quiet hand, to achieve impulsion and roundness. So you are using your reins to essentially pull and annoy the horse to the point where she will put her head down to escape the pressure. See-sawing is not necessarily pulling the horse's face off, it is moving one side of the bit at a time, to slide it across the horse's mouth and wiggle its nose until the head drops. This does nothing. And you will get CANNED if you compete with the horse's head wiggling side to side.
Pulling back on the reins simply pushes the hind legs further out behind the horse. You are riding entirely the wrong way around. If the horse's owner suggests that method as a way of getting the horse round, she/he needs serious lessons from someone who know's what they're doing.

Read the thread posted above, it will explain.

If you don't read it - just take this :

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post #9 of 42 Old 05-04-2011, 10:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
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i'm going to create a thread about this because I have a problem with my horses leads but idk if it's the same kind of problem
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post #10 of 42 Old 05-05-2011, 12:08 AM
Join Date: May 2011
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I AGREE A MILLION percent with NO SEE-SAWING! You will destroy a horses mouth. Collection all comes from behind and from your seat and leg. Your hands have very little do with it. Only use slight rein pressure to get them to accept contact and fall light into your hands. Putting the head down is very little in collection, the headset is the last thing you should look at in collection.
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