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What is collecting?

This is a discussion on What is collecting? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How to get the perfect headset for dressage
  • Dressage headset

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    06-04-2012, 10:24 PM
  #11
Trained
BSMS I have to agree - though collection in its absolute basic essence is gaining the control of the horse's steps, so that it carries itself lightly and with engagement (i.e. Not dragging itself along, feeling like you need to kick to keep it moving every stride!), the 'collection' required in western disciplines is very much different to collection required in dressage. I don't think a lipizan, piaffing with the croup lowered beautifully, would do so well in a barrel race ;)
     
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    06-04-2012, 10:29 PM
  #12
Started
You don't need your horse cranked into a perfect headset, or doing dressage stuff to be collected, if fact, headset has nothing to do with collection, but if you get them really driving with her hindquarters, they will most likely round up throughout their whole body, resulting in a nice little headset.

Now, the collection we use barrel racing is much different than dressage or reining. Reining/dressage horses are supposed to be nicely rounded and collected consistently. Barrel racers really don't want that, we would like it practising w/t/l at home, but mostly, we want it when we ask for it to get a horse really working around a barrel or doing a lead change at home, or working some issues out. But when it comes to actually running the barrels, the collection work really comes into play when you ask for that rate and the horse starts driving around that barrel and you can feel their hindquarters really working, instead of flying around the barrel all uncoordinated-like.

If your looking for exercises to do for barrels, there's a lot of videos and reading here:
Barrel Racing Exercises and Drills.
     
    06-04-2012, 10:35 PM
  #13
Trained
Kayty, I wasted a lot of needless time getting frustrated by dressage fans and books - and in honesty, frustrating dressage fans no end - by not understanding that different disciplines use the term differently. I think Littauer was right. He thought 'collection' should be saved for its dressage definition, and a different word found for use by other disciplines.

There have been a couple of times where my mare has cantered in a slow but powerful motion that is probably as close to collection as I'll ever experience. She did it on her own, and not for long. In her Arabian heart, she thinks canter means 'almost gallop'. But it was an amazing experience, and gave me a tiny glimpse into why dressage folks work so hard to achieve collected gaits. Riding a horse that truly collects, in the dressage meaning, is probably incredible. But I'm not likely to ever know firsthand...

However, that gait wouldn't have won her any money barrel racing. Although right now, I'm working full time on trying to teach her we can walk along a desert path without going "BUSH! LIZARD! RABBIT! ARGHHHHH!!!!!!!"
     
    06-04-2012, 10:43 PM
  #14
Trained
Absolutely right BSMS, and that's why I don't poke my nose into western threads - because the aim is different.
The 'collection' referred to in many western disciplines would earn you about a 3, maybe a 4, in a dressage test. But dressage 'collection' is pretty useless in those same western disciplines.

I love dressage, the feeling of being able to create this enormous amount of power beneath your seat, and keep that power contained to produce cadenced paces and movements is quite an amazing feeling, and thought. But that doesn't mean it's the be all and end all. I don't see how dressage in itself would be usefull to a barrel racer, as many try to preach. Good basic riding, is good basic riding, not dressage.
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    06-04-2012, 11:19 PM
  #15
Green Broke
Not really relevant, but I agree with that bsms said about feeling collection for just a split second, and how awesome it is!

Sunny got a bit startled on the trail one day and when I asked her to come back to my hands, there it was. I felt her back round, her step lighten, her reach under herself, and it was one of the best things I've ever felt on horseback and it only lasted a total of probably 3 seconds.

If that wasn't actual collection, I don't know what is. I've felt, plenty of times, horses get startled and start prancing and get on the vertical, but that's not what this was. It just felt...different. And amazing.

Okay, sorry for the pointless rambling!
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