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The stages of Training to Reach Collection

This is a discussion on The stages of Training to Reach Collection within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        06-21-2013, 07:35 PM
      #41
    Weanling
    This is the problem I have with everything that has been said so far:

    Quote:
    "dressage" ie training,

    All training is NOT DRESSAGE. I teach my horse collection for when it's needed...but I am NOT teaching her dressage.

    And with that, I'll leave it be.

    Happy RIDING all!
    ~*~anebel~*~ likes this.
         
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        06-21-2013, 08:00 PM
      #42
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FaydesMom    
    ...And with that, I'll leave it be.

    Happy RIDING all!
    I will as well. If someone thinks they need "The stages of Training to Reach Collection" (thread title), let them. I will work my horses without it. To each their own.
    christopher and FaydesMom like this.
         
        06-21-2013, 09:31 PM
      #43
    Trained
    I still fail to understand how it is elitist to restrict the use of the term "dressage" to the training of a horse for the sport of dressage.
    Training a horse to jump 4' is pretty exclusive to jumping, training a horse to cut a cow is pretty exclusive to cutting, etc..

    What TO ME sounds very "hoity toity" and "high and mighty" is when people say "Dressage is the basis of ALL training". Which is, as has been pointed out, BS. Yes dressage was one of the first equestrian sports. However. That does not mean we have to teach a trail horse to piaffe before it's any good at trails. Good basic training is good basic training, regardless of discipline. There is lots of bad "dressage" out there that I frankly, would not call "good training" or a basis for any other kind of work.
    I prefer to reserve "dressage" and other dressage terms for the training of a dressage horse who does fancy moves in a 20x60m white fence. If the very basics are the same as basic jumping or reining training - that does not make basic jumping or reining training dressage, any more than basic dressage training is reining or jumping or cutting or barrels or trails. The fact that a good well started horse IN ANY DISCIPLINE is, in general, the same, does not mean the horse was started in dressage. It means the horse was started well. Period. I've seen more western guys put better starts on dressage horses than most dressage people. IMO lots of dressage people actually do a really poor job on young horses, but whatever. It's "Dwessaaage" so it has to be gold standard I guess.
         
        06-21-2013, 09:53 PM
      #44
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
    I still fail to understand how it is elitist to restrict the use of the term "dressage" to the training of a horse for the sport of dressage.
    Training a horse to jump 4' is pretty exclusive to jumping, training a horse to cut a cow is pretty exclusive to cutting, etc..

    What TO ME sounds very "hoity toity" and "high and mighty" is when people say "Dressage is the basis of ALL training". Which is, as has been pointed out, BS. Yes dressage was one of the first equestrian sports. However. That does not mean we have to teach a trail horse to piaffe before it's any good at trails. Good basic training is good basic training, regardless of discipline. There is lots of bad "dressage" out there that I frankly, would not call "good training" or a basis for any other kind of work.
    I prefer to reserve "dressage" and other dressage terms for the training of a dressage horse who does fancy moves in a 20x60m white fence. If the very basics are the same as basic jumping or reining training - that does not make basic jumping or reining training dressage, any more than basic dressage training is reining or jumping or cutting or barrels or trails. The fact that a good well started horse IN ANY DISCIPLINE is, in general, the same, does not mean the horse was started in dressage. It means the horse was started well. Period. I've seen more western guys put better starts on dressage horses than most dressage people. IMO lots of dressage people actually do a really poor job on young horses, but whatever. It's "Dwessaaage" so it has to be gold standard I guess.
    FWIW, coming from a completely non dressage perspective, the sport in particular and have taken one dressage lesson in my lifetime, I absolutely agree. I rarely participate on threads that go into the dressage the sport vs dressage a training principle because frankly, I view it as an argument over semantics. When I read/hear dressage, I see the sport. This may likely be in part to my growing up steeped in western performance.

    I also agree completely with the good foundation part. That is also something I think when I read threads that discuss this topic. Good training is good training, regardless of discipline. I've been asked "Why are you doing dressage with a western horse?" My response is always "Why is lateral work and collection (or whatever I was working on at the moment) exclusive to dressage?" Of course it isn't the higher work of a dressage horse but those foundation principles have their place in most, if not all disciplines. That type of work is something I do with every horse I start. Why wouldn't one want to have a horse that you can control each part independently or a horse that can work with an engaged hind end?

    The line of thought that it doesn't apply to trail horses or this horse or that horse, I can't agree with. Higher performance level of collection, probably not but some degree of collection, yes. If for nothing more than having a horse that can work up under himself with an engaged back is going to be a more smooth, comfortable ride.
         
        06-21-2013, 10:08 PM
      #45
    Super Moderator
    Anebel, dressage isn't just upper level movements. It can simply be basic balancing, suppling, and responsiveness training. One can be very happy with the skills to do lower level "dressage" which would be the same skills that would make a great trail horse. One that is forward, balanced and able to use themselves well on all kinds of terrain. Yes, basic "dressage" will really help horses ride steep terrain.

    My show horses spent their falls in Colorado packing deer and elk out of the wilderness. The skills they learned in "dressage" allowed them to engage their haunch in all kinds of terrain challenges that became problematic to other horses with little but walk trot canter training.

    Originally, there was a reason for everything that dressage had to offer other than just piaffing around a 20 X 60 arena.

    I knew a reining and working cowhorse trainer who used training techniques so close to what I did they, too, fell under the awful "dressage" banner. Even he admitted it.

    I think people are getting hung up on the term "dressage" and the picture of a shadbelly and tophat in their minds. Dressage (training) starts from the moment you halter a horse, IMO. I don't see "dressage" as hoity toity.....just good solid basics, regardless of whether it is an english or western saddle. Maybe that's where we are coming to this crossroad.
         
        06-21-2013, 10:31 PM
      #46
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters    
    ...The line of thought that it doesn't apply to trail horses or this horse or that horse, I can't agree with. Higher performance level of collection, probably not but some degree of collection, yes...
    The point is not that a trail horse will never shift its weight to the rear (collect), but that the degree it needs to do so can be taught on the trail (or arena) without preparing it via the dressage scale of training. That training scale is relevant to what some like to call Big D Dressage, or what I argue is meant by the English word "dressage".

    To achieve a collected gait (FEI definition) takes a great deal of work, and the horse needs a proper foundation - the training scale - to get there without injury.

    However, a horse can back up smoothly, straight, and efficiently without needing to first achieve impulsion ("seen only in those paces that have a period of suspension"). A horse can back up well without a bit, or being ridden in contact. One does not need to work on the first 4 steps of the dressage training scale to teach a horse to back up. Mia backed up well before she knew what a bit was. It was probably her only skill at purchase...

    As I argued in post #2: "But, for example, lots of horses ride fine without being ridden in contact. May ride fine bitless. But most horses have no need for anything but brief periods of collection, and they need a much milder degree of collection."

    I currently have two goals in working on Mia's canter:

    1 - Don't get so excited. It isn't a race.

    2 - Collect - shift enough of your balance to the rear - enough to canter at a relaxed pace with a relaxed back.

    I think we have achieved #2. Close, anyways. Achieving #1 is proving more difficult, in part because I have limited opportunity to canter her with another horse. We will get there, but her competitive approach to other horses still pops out at times.

    That is NOT teaching her dressage. I do not need to work up the dressage scale to get there. The level of collection I need is much more modest than needed for dressage (the sport). It is thus much easier to teach, and requires far less preparation. Frankly, if Mia hadn't been raised in a corral, she would probably have known how to do it before I bought her.

    But then, if I had bought a horse "perfect for a beginner", as advertised, the last 5 years would not have been nearly so interesting...
         
        06-21-2013, 10:39 PM
      #47
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Allison Finch    
    ...I think people are getting hung up on the term "dressage" and the picture of a shadbelly and tophat in their minds. Dressage (training) starts from the moment you halter a horse, IMO. I don't see "dressage" as hoity toity.....just good solid basics, regardless of whether it is an english or western saddle. Maybe that's where we are coming to this crossroad.
    I was reading a book by George Morris this afternoon. He referred to 'jumping dressage', IIRC. Perhaps those brought up in a more English-style tradition are comfortable with using 'dressage' to mean 'training'. Where I live, I've never met anyone who associated 'dressage' as a synonym for 'training'. In the southwest, if you say you are looking for a dressage trainer, no one accuses you of being redundant.

    I am inclined to agree with Littauer, and reserve dressage for the sport of dressage. I also agree with him that 'collection' ought to be used with its FEI definition and a different word used for lower-degree shifts in balance. That would at least prevent statements like, "How do I get my 3-year old to collect good?" or, "Why does it take a dressage person so long to collect her horse? I had mine doing it in 2 rides...."
         
        06-21-2013, 10:55 PM
      #48
    Super Moderator
    You say:

    The point is not that a trail horse will never shift its weight to the rear (collect), but that the degree it needs to do so can be taught on the trail (or arena) without preparing it via the dressage scale of training. That training scale is relevant to what some like to call Big D Dressage, or what I argue is meant by the English word "dressage".


    In a way, yes. Dressage is not required. But, the training that the horse receives (be it western or English), will be most effective if it follows , at least in the lowest portion, the training scale that the OP shows.
    One of the problems you see with WP folks who try to teach "collection" before achieving the rhythm, relaxation and impulsion that are considered as preparations for collection in the dressage scale, is that they end up having a horse that is backwards. He comes behind the bit, yet is on the forehand, pulls with his shoulders and has lost all his impulsion from being yanked back to "collect" him. If they focused first on getting good , rhythmic forward, before any focus on collection , they'd have better results, even if they never set foot in a dressage ring.
    Skyseternalangel likes this.
         
        06-21-2013, 11:23 PM
      #49
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    I was reading a book by George Morris this afternoon. He referred to 'jumping dressage', IIRC. Perhaps those brought up in a more English-style tradition are comfortable with using 'dressage' to mean 'training'. Where I live, I've never met anyone who associated 'dressage' as a synonym for 'training'. In the southwest, if you say you are looking for a dressage trainer, no one accuses you of being redundant.
    George uses the term 'jumping dressage' for suppling exercises, lateral work, counter cantering, flying changes, etc. for his daily flat work and/or as a warm up for jumping (same exercises most jumper riders would use). It is just a colorful term George uses, so no need to read too much into it.
         
        06-21-2013, 11:44 PM
      #50
    Trained
    ^^ Thanks. I didn't know that.
         

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