Collection again - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 03-09-2008, 01:44 AM
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Collection is an end result to a horse that has achieved all levels of the "training tree" (Rhythm, Relaxation, Suppleness, Contact, Impulsion, Straightness). In collection, the horse carries most of their weight on their hind end, having a greater degree of pushing power and you have complete control of their hind end as well as their shoulders.
Collection does not depend on how much their head is curled, that would just be called "framing up".

I think what you are wanting is to have your horse "on the bit"(for correct terminology). When your horse's head is curled, your horse is not on the bit but rather is using that as an invasion of using himself.

Once your horse starts to use himself, on the bit comes naturally, without the curling. In order to achieve this I will agree with jazzyrider and start longing him (side reins, longe line, longe whip). I recommend the side reins that has the donut attached to them, because when the horse gives into the contact, the donut gives and it helps them learn better. At first put the side reins on looser and gradually tighten them to where his nose is vertical to the ground or slightly above the vertical. Use your longe line as your rein and the whip as your leg. When you longe your horse work on your horse doing nice forward and clear transitions(walk-trot, trot-canter, canter-trot, trot-walk).

After you longe, you can ride him and keep the side reins on. When you ride him work on keeping consistant and steady contact to the bit. Work on the circle with transitions and bending lines.
I hope that all helped..

It all takes time and consistancy. Just be patient and it works out. For the most part you seem to do a good job, just work on keeping a nice consistant contact.
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post #12 of 19 Old 03-09-2008, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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yaya I'm so happy. I got him collected perfectly for most of the time...well for about 90% of the time that I ask him to be collected. I don't want him to be collected all the time...I like him to be able to relax when we are done and we are cooling off.

I think it's more of a testing thing. I let the BO's daughter ride him (her daughter is a great rider) and Sonny at first did the same thing he did for me....but she corrected that problem, and when I got back on him he more or less was "I'll do anything for you, just don't let her ride me again" haha.

And after that he listened perfectly!!!! I think he just needs an experienced persons handling once and a while. After my lessons with him from now on, I'll work on a school horse to get it good and to see what I'm doing.
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post #13 of 19 Old 03-10-2008, 08:40 AM
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After reading that article Jazzy posted I can see why dressage is a life long learning experience. Makes me glad I just trail ride, but I can see I need to work on collection a bit just for the health of my horse. Good luck to you Sonny, you looked great to my untrained eyes
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post #14 of 19 Old 03-13-2008, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Last Sunday when Sonny started to get out of hand, I had the trainers daughter, a great rider and great with horses, to get on Sonny to see if he was just being a pain in the.....or if he was testing me. She rode him around and he was collected and looking all I got back on him and walked, trotted, and cantered him around and worked on collection. I asked the lady how she got him so nicely collected and she got on another horse and showed me how.

Just today I was working on the way she showed me how to collect Sonny and I'm TOTALLY 100% amazed!!!!!!! I got Sonny perfectly (or at least as perfect as I could tell just watching his shadow on the arena side) collected in a trot for 3 laps without him overbending or trying to raise his head up.

He seemed soooo obediant compaired to Sunday morning when I rode him.

I rode him other horses in sight today...and the only noise that could be heard was a guy working on the BO's house, and Scribbles getting upset with the horses (Scribbles is a cute mini pony and usually in the winter he is kept he was outside for the first time this year). He was sooo well behaved. I've never ridden by myself. There's always been someone within shouting range if I fall off and get hurt...but the barn owner had an appointment and asked me to ride 2 of her horses, and then lunge two others.

But anyways, Sonny was great today and I'm extremely pleased
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post #15 of 19 Old 03-13-2008, 06:44 PM
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glad you had a positive day :)

vida - yeah the mind boggles with all the stuff there is to learn i love learning and knowledge though so that makes it always interesting

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"

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post #16 of 19 Old 03-13-2008, 08:06 PM
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Congratulations! I am experiencing the same things you are, with trying to learn myself how to achieve collection in my horse, and trying to teach it to my horse at the same time. It has not been an easy task, but it is VERY REWARDING when you get to see them look all pretty!
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post #17 of 19 Old 03-14-2008, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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it is really rewarding.

Each horse I've noticed will collect differently. When I bought Sonny they never told me how to collect Sonny, so it was more of a "lets try this and see if it works" type thing. I tried keeping my hands low, with a tight rein, but he'd fight for his head so many times or over bend. Then I tried having my hands down low and to keep milking the reins (I'm sure there's a real term for it, but that's what I've always called it) and it worked, but Sonny kept raising his head up. Then my trainers daughter who was teaching half of the lesson suggested that I keep my hands up (the place where they are supposed to be) and if he raises his head to either to a half-hault or milk the reins. The second I raised the reins, Sonny collected himself!

I don't know if he's doing a hollowed out collection, or what exactly he's doing with his back, but I'm going to have my mom take some videos on Sunday after my lesson to see
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post #18 of 19 Old 03-14-2008, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SonnyWimps
it is really rewarding.

I don't know if he's doing a hollowed out collection, or what exactly he's doing with his back, but I'm going to have my mom take some videos on Sunday after my lesson to see
You can feel the difference when his back rises when collected, it is slight but there. It is more noticeable at a trot, when he reaches further and the trot seems to smooth out a bit...easier to sit.

The video will really help! Luckily, I have my friend/instructor letting me know for sure when he is correct (and when I am correct too!).

We would love to see a video if you get one made!
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post #19 of 19 Old 03-15-2008, 02:23 PM
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With collection you never want your horses head to get behind the vertical. The picture was not as bad, but in the video it seemed to get very over tucked. When you are extended you want your horses neck lower with their nose poking somewhat out.
Collection is something that you will more often see in dressage, while in hunters you will see a horse more extended.
You trainer is definitely right obout the over tucked head though. Most of the time a horse overtucks their head to try and get away from the rider's hand contact for whatever reason. It may be that you are not soft enough on his mouth and he is therefore, trying to get away from your hard hands.
As said earlier, he is very unsure about where his head should be and he is moving it all over trying to find where you want it. At the canter in the video, his head looked very nice for a couple seconds and then he would tuck it or bring it up.
This is how I would fix it. Work on extention. Let your horse work on a looser contact and stretch down some. Once he puts his head in a nice spot, hold your riens and give him a little leg to support him being round and not let him fall apart and come off the bit. Once he becomes a little more comfortable, then you can start working on collection. Try to not use your hands too much, but rather your body to adjust his speed and rhythm. When he puts his head on the vertical, again balance him and give him a little leg to tell him that he is doing what you want.
The best thing you can do is to soften up your hands. Ecspecially at the canter you were just holding your hands in one spot like a wall. This causes him to want to get away from your contact. Try to move your hands with his head. Just try putting your hands on his neck and feeling how it moves and give when his neck goes forward and move your hands back when it comes back. This will help a lot. If he gets too fast while you do this, sit up and use your body to slow him down. If his head goes up, pick your hands up. Because his head is so inconsitent right now, you need to more your hands to keep your contact. When his head goes up pick your hands up. When is head becomes overtucked, try to push him forward because it will help him balance better.
Many people have this problem, so don't worry too much. Your horse is definitely trying to figure out what you want him to do with his head and once he figures it out, he will do well.Just think rhythm and try to keep him consistent.
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