Why is collecting a horse so hard :( - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 34 Old 05-30-2011, 01:14 PM
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In all honesty, I would forget about "collection" for a trail horse. A good connection with the haunch is helpful, but lets face it....it is not something that should be used for long hours of a trail ride. It takes a lot of fitness and strength to use themselves in this manner.

When I trail ride, I prefer to have a horse go on a loose rein, maybe even a little heavy on the forehand. I want us both to enjoy ourselves and don't appreciate the fussing during this calm time together. Responsive to the aides, yes. Self carrying and "in the bridle", no.
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post #22 of 34 Old 05-30-2011, 05:31 PM
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Thank you so much Allison! I am learning so much reading you!!! I have a doubt. If I understood correctly, we shouldn't be working on our horse's mouth (for them to bring their heads down) but we should start with the haunches?
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post #23 of 34 Old 05-30-2011, 06:27 PM
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Mouth, no. Haunch, yes. All I can say is polish those legs of yours. That is the steam for your horse's engine. I don't mean kicking. I mean squeezing...like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. I rarely kick a horse. But my legs are strong enough that when I squeeze them, the horse's eyes start to pop out!! Just kidding.....

The legs create the energy. All the hands do is decide how that energy is to be used/controlled. Never just pulling back on the head.
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post #24 of 34 Old 05-30-2011, 07:18 PM
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I'll definitely work on everything you say! Can't wait to get to my Yapa now to start practising! I'll keep you posted!
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post #25 of 34 Old 05-30-2011, 07:25 PM
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Yeah mate if you're just wanting to trail ride and nothing else, the horse should just be happy to go along on a loose rein, pushing itself along with the hindquarters and happily stretching the head and neck down. Nothing more :) As Allison said, it takes a lot of muscle and fitness for a horse to work connection and 'on the aids' so doing this over a long distance trail riding will tire the horse out too much.
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post #26 of 34 Old 05-30-2011, 11:51 PM
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Mary, just make sure you provide us with lots of photos!!
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post #27 of 34 Old 06-02-2011, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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You know I used to ride on loose reins for 3 years, not a thought about collection or on the bit... Now my mare is completly muscleless on her topline.
I just sat there, leave her alone, and told her from time to time, go left, trot, walk,etc... We were just enjoying. I think she would be more comfortable if she would carry me not with bones, but with muscles, but there are not any. Plus I worry about saddle fit, there is a difference between muscles and no muscles.

It's RAINING!

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post #28 of 34 Old 06-02-2011, 11:21 PM
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Have you ever tried trotting her over poles? This really makes them engage the abdominal muscles and, in turn, helps to build the topline.
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post #29 of 34 Old 06-03-2011, 06:13 AM
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I now do 99% trail riding and my horse's top line is in great shape. If all you are doing is ring work then that could be the problem but out on the trail, my horses use all their muscles having to negotiate obstacles and terrain all at different speeds.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.


It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #30 of 34 Old 06-03-2011, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
I now do 99% trail riding and my horse's top line is in great shape. If all you are doing is ring work then that could be the problem but out on the trail, my horses use all their muscles having to negotiate obstacles and terrain all at different speeds.
Then I'm doing something wrong... Could you please explain what do you mean with ring work? I struggle with english when it comes to new horse term.

Tnx, Sahara, I'll do more with poles, this is a really good idea. I didn't do it since last summer, and I really enjoy this.

Any other things, anyone, to work on my mare's topline?
I'll take a pic today, you'll see how she looks.

And one more question. When you work with a horse that isn't fit, that was out of work for awhile and lacks muscles, how long/hard do you work him and when do you know you have to stop?
I'm working with her now for about 45minutes a day, walk and trot. I'm still trotting only on flat ground and only walk on hills, but I wonder when I'm safe to work her more. I usually stop when she starts sweating and then it takes another 10 minutes to cool her down. Am I doing too much/too little?

It's RAINING!

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