09-27-2012, 10:32 AM
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Still could be tension/stress and not "collection" in the dressage sense. You'd have to post a video. My horse, for example, will "collect" if she gets wound up by something like a horse on a trail cantering off in front of her. She'll tuck her nose in, sit on her haunches, get light up front, and throw in some passage, canter piaffe, and a few airs above the ground for good measure. This isn't the type of "collection" I ask for in the dressage ring, because the horse isn't relaxed or on the aids. She did this the other day, because I was holding her back from racing with another horse, and the other rider (not a dressage rider) said she looked very pretty and dressagey. I laughed and said that's not what it felt like. A collected dressage horse will feel powerful, but also fluid, balanced, responsive, but this just feels like a lot of bouncing around with fairly minimal control and the horse tense, explosive, and wound up. Actually, what I said to my fellow rider was, "What the hell was she doing back there?! It felt like there was just a lot of 'up' happening." If a horse went like this as a matter of course, I'd be working on getting it to stretch out, relax, and move in a forward manner.