Collection thru a bit?
 
 

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Collection thru a bit?

This is a discussion on Collection thru a bit? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Why do some horses naturally go on the bit?

 
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    11-21-2011, 01:26 PM
  #1
Super Moderator
Collection thru a bit?

So I know that collection doesn't "come" from the bit per say, that (at least to my understanding) it comes from the horse accepting the bit and working through its self from behind. And I've never actually ridden a horse that was genuinely collected (that I know of) so I really have no knowledge base to go off of here.

However, I'm just wondering if a horse can collect naturally if it really likes the bit being used and if the rider's hands are following the horse and encouraging "correctness" to the best of the rider's knowledge...?


I'm just caused to wonder because since I've switched my mare's bit to a ported Pelham (which is basically why I'm asking since the "snaffle" part of the bit has enough poll pressure to "force" a picture [and possibly a feeling?] of collection) she's become so much lighter in my hands and she's actually stretching into contact with the bit which is something she's literally never ever done before. She's also salivating a little with this bit, which is just made of stainless steel, and she's never salivated at all on any other bits I've used with her.
She also has been so much gentler at the trot, her trot is generally like a jackhammer but with this Pelham I can encourage her, with a little contact on the snaffle rein, to really smooth it out - not necessarily slower but much smoother. When she's trotting like that, she has her neck stretched out really long and low, no crazy up in the air stuff like she usually does.

I guess I'm just concerned that I could be "forcing" her into a false frame and that maybe I should really not have contact on the bit when we're trotting because I don't want to encourage improper muscle building (and I don't really care about collection or not in the first place, if this is collection that's just a nice side effect)...
     
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    11-21-2011, 01:31 PM
  #2
Showing
Wallaby, the horse can't really go round/on bit (I assume that's what you mean by "collect") for long time (especially with the rider on) until it has muscles to keep itself there (I assume they can have "moments" here and there though). And it takes time and correct riding to build those muscles (and memory). May be some horses/breeds do come on bit "naturally". But both my mares, all lesson horses I tried, and my neighbor's TB (she does dressage for years) definitely don't. It took quite a lot of time and work before they actually came on bit/started working from behind (and still very far from "perfect"). Pictures would help tremendously to tell for sure if you are forcing her or not.
     
    11-21-2011, 01:39 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
This is true... I wish I could get pictures! That would make my life so much easier, then I could probably tell too. Hahaha I guess that's what I get for not having anywhere to ride except for trails. :/
This is probably an answerless question, basically "Dear HF, please tell me if my horse is doing something that I don't know how to describe well and can't get pictures of! Good luck!"

We've basically spent the last year or so riding with pretty much zero contact so she's become pretty comfortable with having her head down (which is something she used to be basically unable to do) and she does have that whole "golden triangle" thing with her hind end angles (the LS joint and all that) which apparently is that going to help her "collect" more easily...

Sorry. Haha
     
    11-21-2011, 02:03 PM
  #4
Showing
Well the problem I run into on the forum is when I was describing the problem without the pics/video, got advices, went to my trainer, just to find out that advices were not correct because I didn't describe it the way it was. Definitely no blame on those who gave advices. They gave them based on how they understood me. But you see what I'm saying. Too often what you think you have/the problem is, is in fact something different for the live observer.
     
    11-21-2011, 02:32 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
Does she come behind the bit when you take up a little bit more contact? (behind the vertical and kind of sucking back behind the leg). Yeah, and will she step forward with more engagement even with contact on the bit? Or does she curl behind it and go behind the leg when you ask for more? Will she follow the bit into a longer/lower frame if you ask her to? If you have her on the bit and in a nice "frame" and you release the rein, will she hold this position on her own for a couple of steps/seconds? Will she back up off the bit without curling behind the vertical, and with a feeling of rocking her weight back onto her hind feet?

If most of those are yes, then to me you have a pretty honest connection to the bit and by adding impulsion from the hind you would then have collection.
     
    11-21-2011, 07:52 PM
  #6
Green Broke
My second horse, and Arabian, I believe traveled collected on his own. I was a greenie, so I don't know how correct it was, but he had so much "go" and I was always holding him back, that he was always really bunched up and light on his front end. That's what makes me think it was collection- he was light and spry on his front end. And he wore his hind shoes out quicker than his fronts, which I was told happens when a horse works more off the hind end than the front.

So I think they can collect on their own if the horse has a lot of "go" and you are holding them back. I suppose they can also be on their front end and be held back, but I believe my Arab traveled collected a lot even though I was a greenie. I'm sure it wasn't show-ring collection, he was probably behind the bit, but I think he was collected.

I think of it as the horse being powerful and springy on their hind endwhile their front end is being held in check so it doesn't get strung out. That is my trail-rider's definition of collection.
     
    11-21-2011, 09:16 PM
  #7
Trained
What level of collection are you trying for?
     
    11-21-2011, 09:32 PM
  #8
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
So I think they can collect on their own if the horse has a lot of "go" and you are holding them back.
Rider, with all respect it's not a collection. It's not even "correct riding" (horse is round and on bit), at least in dressage. Heck, I'm taking lessons with the very good dressage trainer for over a year and not even thinking about collection. And not sure even I and my horses will be able to do it.

BTW, here is an article on collection, quite an interesting one... ::: Sustainable Dressage - Collection & Its Evasions - True Collection - What It Is and How to Achieve It :::
     

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