What is collecting?

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What is collecting?

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  • Horsemanship what does collecting a horse mean

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    06-04-2012, 08:09 PM
What is collecting?

What does it mean when someone ask's me if my horse is collecting? I feel stupid not knowing lol!!
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    06-04-2012, 08:16 PM
Collecting, or rather collection while riding a horse, is simply collecting the horse's energy, whether is it forward, sideways or backward and dispersing where ever you want it or containing it. Think of your horse as a big tube of toothpaste, the bit or whatever you use to bridle your horse is the cap. You squeeze with your legs, apply pressure with your seat and contain & release with your hands. When a horse is collected, he rounds his back to meet the rider's seat, gives at his poll to come to the bit and shifts his weight to carry it more evenly back to front.
nvr2many and SaddleStrings like this.
    06-04-2012, 08:32 PM
To simplify a collected trot is a tight well controlled step...the opposite would be an extended trot where your horse seems to reach out and away to take a step
    06-04-2012, 08:42 PM
Originally Posted by eclipseranch    
to simplify a collected trot is a tight well controlled step...the opposite would be an extended trot where your horse seems to reach out and away to take a step
Not to muddy the waters more for the OP, but from a dressage perspective, extension is not the opposite of collection. An extended trot the result of collection + impulsion. Collection shifts greater load-bearing responsibility to the horse's hind legs, allowing for the freedom in the front leg to execute a proper extended trot.

For the OP, here is a nice description of what "collection" means from a dressage perspective -- and you'll see that there are differences of opinion even within the discipline. ::: Sustainable Dressage - Collection & Its Evasions - True Collection - What It Is and How to Achieve It :::
    06-04-2012, 09:11 PM
Great article! There's also one i've written that I think I posted somewhere in this forum...let me see if I can find it.
    06-04-2012, 09:21 PM
Here's a link to a great thread about collection: Collection

And here's the link to my article: (same thread, different page)

Hope it helps! Spyder has some amazing posts in that thread and it's well worth the full read imo. :)
    06-04-2012, 09:30 PM

One quick image... don't have time for more right now! Sorry!
waresbear likes this.
    06-04-2012, 09:40 PM
Im talking about like in barrel racing
    06-04-2012, 09:52 PM
Originally Posted by BarrelRacer3    
im talking about like in barrel racing
the movement and quality therein is the same regardless of discipline. A horse that is collected and moving with impulsion will be correct regardless of the saddle on its back. If your horse is flat, you may appear faster, but your turns and agility will suffer in barrel racing which will result in slower times overall.

I highly suggest reading through the thread I posted to above, as Spyder especially has some incredible knowledge we could all learn from!
    06-04-2012, 10:11 PM
From a barrel racing perspective, I doubt collection is the same as defined in dressage. Your best bet may be to post the question on the barrel racing subforum.

I don't barrel race, and I don't do dressage - so take this FWIW. It may be close to a barrel racer's perspective:

For speed, I want the horse extending out. I want the weight to be carried by the front legs, while the rear legs provide the thrust. However, if you tried to go around a barrel like that (or a pylon when I'm practicing general riding), you'd get a huge, sweeping turn. Even if you slow the pace down, the horse can't turn efficiently.

So for a turn, you want the weight transferred more to the rear, and the horse to bend around with a light front end. For my riding, turning around pylons, I find I get a faster and more coordinated turn if I shift my weight back, tip the nose in a bit and try to keep the horse's inside shoulder up while the horse almost uses more of a swivel motion than a running motion. I'm not very good at explaining it, but I'm sure there are barrel racing videos, or perhaps your friends can demonstrate.

I did a lesson where I tried to have a horse turn a steady, tight and ROUND circle while I had my weight forward. Halfway thru the turn, I'd shift my weight back. It was obvious from feel that the latter gave the horse an easier and faster turn.

That isn't collection from a dressage perspective. Littauer argued in one of his books that a jumper almost never 'collects' in the true sense of the word, but does need to 'gather' for a short period of time. I don't jump either, so I'm just passing on some stuff I've read and some playing I've done for fun with my horses. Take it with a big grain of salt. Or two. Or more...

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