Information on how to teach a horse to collect - Page 4

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Information on how to teach a horse to collect

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  • Exercises to teach dressage horse to collect
  • Encouraging a horse to collect

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    01-22-2011, 01:02 PM
Originally Posted by bsms    
(Scoutrider) - "The issue is that, no matter what sense we're talking about collection in, the goal is achieved the same way - engaging the hindquarters from the hind end forward and encouraging the horse to accept and carry the bit."

Hmmm...a goal, or a training means? I suspect it is easier to teach collection with a bit, but the bit isn't the end goal of the training, but a means of accomplishing it. It may well be that for the movements required by "DRESSAGE", a bit is almost always critical. For the degree of collection I need, it isn't. Mia CAN move in a collected manner to the degree needed for trail riding and general practice in the arena. She almost always moves that way on her own, so my challenge it to teach her to carry my weight using the same principles she uses when simply carrying her own.

I should clarify "carry the bit" better - the bit isn't the focus of what I was trying to convey, but the head carriage that the article seeks to emulate by pressure and release. The result of that exercise mimics self carriage, the "bit packing" or "halter packing" (ultimately, "self packing") posture of a correctly traveling horse. For the purposes of "D" Dressage, a bit is a crucial communication tool for the degree of collection sought. For lesser degrees, a bitless bridle or halter may be sufficient. Some horses can attain an upper level "D" Dressage level of collection and self carriage without a bit (Can't find a video example right now, but I'm sure they're out there).

That's the heart of the issue I have with the article - it will result in a posture that mimics self carriage, without the self carriage. No self carriage, no collection in any sense whatsoever, regardless of discipline or setting.

Originally Posted by bsms    
And when it is right, it is right. I couldn't describe it in engineering terms, but it is obvious when things start to click. For a brief moment, we move like one. I know it and she knows it, and our challenge is to teach each other how to make those moments come faster and stay longer. She's pushing 10, and I'm pushing 53, so it is an open question if we will achieve it before we both need to put the saddle away.

Ah, at pushing 10 and 53, you and your mare both have a lot of years of riding left in you! My first horse was going strong and happy well into his early 20's. From what you describe, you're both very much on the right track to getting her working off of her hindquarters and carrying herself in the sense of collection appropriate to what you want to do.

Originally Posted by bsms    
Hmmm...I'm beginning to think I'm training my horse every time we MEET, let alone RIDE. And I suspect most dressage riders would agree with that...
^This is absolutely and 100% right. There is no off-switch to the equine mind.
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    01-22-2011, 05:24 PM
Hmm. Well, I read 90% of the article and then the comments on it.

I agree, the author was probably wrong to title this article with "collection" in it. While this article is not the greatest source of how to collect a horse, it does have some very useful exercises to help achieve a horse that is collected at any level. Some exercises are not as great (the evading the bit exercise made me raise an eyebrow. The only thing it MIGHT be useful for is developing muscles, but this can be done without the bit and on the ground.)

I have minimal if any Dressage experience. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    01-22-2011, 07:50 PM
The article would have been more appropriately titled "how to get our western horse low and slow."
I am not meaning that in a snarky tone at all, just that the article had nothing about collection. No matter what discipline you are in, collection means the same thing. It does not mean low and slow, though that's what it appears to the untrained eye.
It baffles me why people fixate on headset so... The horse's head will fall into place when the body becomes correct.
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    01-25-2011, 12:24 PM

Thanks for the link to your article. I will be honest, it was pretty difficult for me to read. I will be the first to say that I am a Dressage newbie, but I am very familiar with how a horse's body works and should work.

Its just a lot to take in and you definitely really have to think about every sentence that you wrote. Its very well written and VERY informative.

I am looking for an article more based on specific exercises to perform and examples of how to perform these. Your article seemed to be based on how to ride a collected horse, which is fantastic, but I am looking for something a little more elementary I guess.

Thanks again!
    01-25-2011, 04:41 PM
Thanks for this =D

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