Originally Posted by Beling
Now I'm getting muddled too! Let me refresh:
(Spyder quote): In its simplest definition collection is the even loading of weight on all four legs that allows for no resistance to the riders demands and in fact the horse has given its body controls entirely up to the rider.
That might be a simple definition, but it describes such an extreme state, it would mean practically no one experiences it.
Quite the contrary for what I described is the first stage and is not difficult to attain if you work at it. The difficulty is that the average rider can only discern extremes of movement, gait and posture but a practiced or trained eye can see the slight nuances and shifts that occur and are able to read them like bold letters in a book.
Unless you consider collection something that comes and goes. I usually think of it as Best Posture, when you're in perfect balance, and yet have the strength and readiness to jump in any direction, right then and there, whatever the rider has in mind.
Collection does not come and go unless the rider influences that transition. If done on purpose then the horse has given itself up to the rider. If it fluctuates without the riders input then the collection or assumption of collection is flawed.
Strangely, the image I keep in mind is the experienced barrel racing horse, who is coiled up at the start, waiting. Once he starts, I guess the collection is lost! In any case, I think the word IS used differently in different sports.
No collection can exist in the horse coiled up waiting for something to happen. By its very nature collection in not present in any horse standing still. Therefore from your description collection cannot be lost since it didn't exist in the first place.
One more thing...No matter what position you are in, relaxation MUST be present. Any suggestion of tenseness negates the true meaning and FEELING