Is she collected? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 24 Old 07-21-2011, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Is she collected?

To be honest, I don't truly understand this whole "collection" thing. I've been riding for four years now so I suppose I should by now

Like most instructors, my instructor is always telling me to, "Engage the hindquarters" and to "Get her head down" etc etc. I've never really spoken up and asked why or what it meant to be honest. Guess that's a little stupid of me...

So really what IS collection and why do we use it? How can you tell if a horse is engaged in the hindquarters or on the forehand?

I've attached some pictures I would GREATLY appreciate if you told me where Bunny was/was not collected.

Thank you!
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File Type: jpg Annies-Horse-Show-2011-297-M.jpg (90.8 KB, 483 views)
File Type: jpg Annies-Horse-Show-2011-298-M.jpg (91.8 KB, 499 views)
File Type: jpg Annies-Horse-Show-2011-299-M.jpg (95.0 KB, 462 views)

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post #2 of 24 Old 07-21-2011, 01:03 PM
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Your 2nd and 3rd pictures are good examples of collected and not-collected. In the 2nd one, you can see that Bunny 's back is rounded and her rear leg is extended as much as her front leg in the trot.

Looking at the 3rd, photo, she's moved her weight onto her forehand. Her neck is raised and braced, the muscles along the bottom of the neck are much stiffer (the horse should be using much more of the top muscles when properly carrying herself) and the back has hollowed. You can also see that she hasn't followed through with the rear leg as much as she did in the previous photo because she's not pushing from behind anymore.

(This probably isn't a complete definition, but I'll give it a try anyway) When a horse is "collected" it basically means they are carrying more weight in their hindquarters, which allows them to more freely move their front half around with better balance.

Collection is definitely something that takes a long time to achieve and "feel". I'm getting better at it myself, but have a long way to go for sure!
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post #3 of 24 Old 07-21-2011, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verona1016 View Post
Your 2nd and 3rd pictures are good examples of collected and not-collected. In the 2nd one, you can see that Bunny 's back is rounded and her rear leg is extended as much as her front leg in the trot.

Looking at the 3rd, photo, she's moved her weight onto her forehand. Her neck is raised and braced, the muscles along the bottom of the neck are much stiffer (the horse should be using much more of the top muscles when properly carrying herself) and the back has hollowed. You can also see that she hasn't followed through with the rear leg as much as she did in the previous photo because she's not pushing from behind anymore.

(This probably isn't a complete definition, but I'll give it a try anyway) When a horse is "collected" it basically means they are carrying more weight in their hindquarters, which allows them to more freely move their front half around with better balance.

Collection is definitely something that takes a long time to achieve and "feel". I'm getting better at it myself, but have a long way to go for sure!
Thank you! It obviously creates a prettier picture, but honestly it still confuses me a bit I'll have to talk to my instructor at my next lesson. She's usually really good about, "Sizing things down" if you know what I mean

Whoever says, "Diamonds are a girl's best friend"... Obviously has never rode a horse!
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post #4 of 24 Old 07-22-2011, 08:40 AM
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Bunny

First of all don't feel silly for asking.
Secondly you are getting there and that horse is trying for you that's clear.
As Verona said except I would add the following.

Firstly in picture 2 you can see the impact of your own balance or picture on the horse as it moves into picture 3 etc. Your shoulders are tensed, your back has rounded and begun to brace. It looks like you lost a little balance then tried to lean back to correct but maintaining the pressure on the reins meant the horse reacted too. Though the back of the horse is coming up, it is still heavily on the forehand, and the wither and hip are not changing angle.

That is not criticism, but just to explain how the rider and horse, and the resultant energy need to form a trinity of balance.

When a horse collects, imagine a ruler. Mark the ends on a piece of paper. Now bend the ruler so that it is higher in the middle. That is the horses back as it lifts. Then mark the ends whilst bent. The length will be shorter because of the bend. The horse is the same, when engaged they shorten. As you can imagine anything we do that moves the middle of the bend, or the balance point will affect the horses ability to collect.
I hope that maybe helps a little at least.
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post #5 of 24 Old 07-22-2011, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doe View Post
Bunny

First of all don't feel silly for asking.
Secondly you are getting there and that horse is trying for you that's clear.
As Verona said except I would add the following.

Firstly in picture 2 you can see the impact of your own balance or picture on the horse as it moves into picture 3 etc. Your shoulders are tensed, your back has rounded and begun to brace. It looks like you lost a little balance then tried to lean back to correct but maintaining the pressure on the reins meant the horse reacted too. Though the back of the horse is coming up, it is still heavily on the forehand, and the wither and hip are not changing angle.

That is not criticism, but just to explain how the rider and horse, and the resultant energy need to form a trinity of balance.

When a horse collects, imagine a ruler. Mark the ends on a piece of paper. Now bend the ruler so that it is higher in the middle. That is the horses back as it lifts. Then mark the ends whilst bent. The length will be shorter because of the bend. The horse is the same, when engaged they shorten. As you can imagine anything we do that moves the middle of the bend, or the balance point will affect the horses ability to collect.
I hope that maybe helps a little at least.
I'm a very visual person and I tried the ruler thing, it totally worked Helped me a lot! Thank you!

Whoever says, "Diamonds are a girl's best friend"... Obviously has never rode a horse!
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post #6 of 24 Old 07-22-2011, 04:30 PM
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Your horse should be using his hind end. My horse doesn't but we are working on it also. You are getting there. You NEVER want to force a horse to put it's head down. That's false collection.

I will show you a visual of a well collected horse verses one that was forced with a head set but hollowing it's back and not useing his hind end.

Here is the correct head set.


Incorrect headset..this horse will have an over worked muscle in it's neck and will travel with a hollow back and not use it's hind end. Doesn't look too comfortable!




The hyperflexion is called rolkur...I'm not sure if if that's spelled correctly.

Last edited by Gidget; 07-22-2011 at 04:34 PM.
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post #7 of 24 Old 07-22-2011, 04:45 PM
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Collection is one of those difficult terms that is used differently by different horseman and different disciplines.

Some horseman use the term collection somewhat loosely to mean a horse the is moving off their hind end, rounding up through the back and actively seeking contact.

While I recognize and accept that definition, I prefer the narrower, stricter, dressage definition of a horse that is all of the above things, but has also has an elevated ribcage, increased flexion in the joints of the hind limbs and appears to be traveling uphill as his hindquarters are lowered relative to the forequarters.

I don't think too many people would disagree that the second photo shows your horse moving and using himself much better than the other photos, however, I would call that on the aids, on the bit or connected, NOT collected.

However, it is mostly dressage riders who make that distinction.
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post #8 of 24 Old 07-22-2011, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gidget View Post
Your horse should be using his hind end. My horse doesn't but we are working on it also. You are getting there. You NEVER want to force a horse to put it's head down. That's false collection.

I will show you a visual of a well collected horse verses one that was forced with a head set but hollowing it's back and not useing his hind end.

Here is the correct head set.


Incorrect headset..this horse will have an over worked muscle in it's neck and will travel with a hollow back and not use it's hind end. Doesn't look too comfortable!




The hyperflexion is called rolkur...I'm not sure if if that's spelled correctly.
I do know what rollkur is, it was started by that Anky Van Grunsven person correct? Doesn't look very comfortable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maura View Post
Collection is one of those difficult terms that is used differently by different horseman and different disciplines.

Some horseman use the term collection somewhat loosely to mean a horse the is moving off their hind end, rounding up through the back and actively seeking contact.

While I recognize and accept that definition, I prefer the narrower, stricter, dressage definition of a horse that is all of the above things, but has also has an elevated ribcage, increased flexion in the joints of the hind limbs and appears to be traveling uphill as his hindquarters are lowered relative to the forequarters.

I don't think too many people would disagree that the second photo shows your horse moving and using himself much better than the other photos, however, I would call that on the aids, on the bit or connected, NOT collected.

However, it is mostly dressage riders who make that distinction.
I could see that there would be some different opinions on this topic

I agree, I don't think in any of the photos do I look like an amazing dressage rider by any means.

Whoever says, "Diamonds are a girl's best friend"... Obviously has never rode a horse!
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post #9 of 24 Old 07-22-2011, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Bugs Bunny View Post
I do know what rollkur is, it was started by that Anky Van Grunsven person correct? Doesn't look very comfortable.
I am no fan of Anky but lets get the facts straight...Rollkur was NOT started by Anky as it was around for a long long time before it became attached to her training.
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post #10 of 24 Old 07-22-2011, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
I am no fan of Anky but lets get the facts straight...Rollkur was NOT started by Anky as it was around for a long long time before it became attached to her training.
Oh sorry, I didn't know that! I actually thought she created it or endorsed it.

Whoever says, "Diamonds are a girl's best friend"... Obviously has never rode a horse!
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