Why is collecting a horse so hard :( - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 34 Old 06-03-2011, 08:56 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greenville area / SC
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By ring Work I mean only in an arena or arena type setting. That means there is nothing challanging for your horse to do so she really doesn't have to use all her muscles. Think of a biker who only cycles around a track or on the street verses one who climbs mountains.

When I start a horse back to work (one that has had a real long time off), I start them for about an hour in my fields which has some hills to it. I'll do a lot of walking for the first week (4 days) and introduce trotting by the end of the week. On the second week I'll take them out on a trail for an hour or 2 at the most. On the trail I try to follow my method of doing a Hunter's Pace - walk down hills, trot the flats, canter up hill. After about a month, I feel my horse is ready for a typical 2 to 4 hour ride but I still take it easy for a while and monitor her. BTW, my horses are on 24/7 turnout.

It sounds to me like you are not pushing your horse enough.

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.

Last edited by iridehorses; 06-03-2011 at 09:04 AM.
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post #32 of 34 Old 06-04-2011, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
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I think we're struggling with different uses of the same terms again.

If your horse has no muscling along its topline even when in steady work; it's likely that he/she travels inverted or hollow, using other muscles instead of the muscles of its topline.

You can teach your horse to go in a different frame, not hollow or inverted. This doesn't mean you're teaching "on the aids" or collection, just that you're asking the horse to use itself more efficiently. Think of it as a continium - on the far left side of the continium is a horse that travels incorrectly or badly; hollow and inverted. Next to that is a horse that travels like a well broke trail horse or a hunter - using its topline, traveling on loose rein or light, passive contact. Next on the line is a horse that travels on active contact and is connected back to front, next is a horse "on the aids" that has rounded through its back, and so on, til you get to the far right hand side of the line, which is a horse traveling in dressage quality collection - think a Lipanzanner or Gran Prix dressage horse.

You just want to move one notch over on the line, which I personally think will be good for your horse's fitness and make him a more enjoyable trail partner. The suggestions that other posters gave you for exercises are all good.
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post #33 of 34 Old 06-07-2011, 10:46 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 23
• Horses: 2
Originally Posted by MIEventer View Post
Seat Into Legs Into Hands To Soften. You must ride the back end, to get the front end. It's like a domino effect, you cannot have the last Domino fall, until the first starts the chain reaction.

Inside leg into outside rein. When I rode with Beitre Herbert Siebel *sorry for the incorrect spelling* when he came to my neck of the woods to host a clinic, whom is from the Spanish Riding School - I learnt that your seat rides the back end, your legs ride the ribs and your hands ride the shoulders.

Your seat is there to engage that back end. To activate it, to get it moving. Your legs are there to lift the ribs/spine up into your seat, and your hands are there to not only allow that energy you've created to recycle back through, but also to keep the shoulders under your horse itself, for balance.

Your seat must be there to work with your legs, your legs must be there to work with your seat, your seat and legs are there to work with your hands, and without your hands all that energy you've created will be lost.

I suggest you start taking up Dressage Lessons. Or finding clinics in your area so you can sign up to take a session in dressage under an Upper Level Rider to help and guide you on the correct path.

All your horses body parts must be working in unison, to gain the desired effect. True Collection takes a long time to achieve.
This! This is exactly what I have been taught by my trainer.

Owner of: Fred, 7 y/o American Saddlebred
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post #34 of 34 Old 06-10-2011, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 684
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Sorry I wasn't checking forum for some time, because the last days in school can be a bit hard...

I rode Candy for once or twice a week in the winter, for just half an hour. Mostly ring work.
Then, in the first month of good weather, I started working more, on trails and in "round pen" (it's nothing with a fence, it just a orchard with flat ground). But after few weeks I had to stop riding because of an injury. So she wasn't ridden seriously since last autumn.

She looked like this in april:


I'm riding for a month now, I changed her food a bit too, and she looks like this:

(I think that it helped a lot that she gained a bit of weight)

Two years ago (had her for a year that time, and it was the end of the summer, so that means she was fit) she looked like this:

I've been working on hills this week too, and twice over poles. I'll work harder. I really messed up all the terms, but I think that I understand now. At least a little bit :P
Thanks for advices everybody :) You are really helpful.


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