Collection Vs. Headset
Scooter, the Quarter horse I've been riding for the last few months has his issues...
His entire family were multi thousand dollar Barrel Racers, but I guess he didn't get the genes because he's such a little eventer. More jump then turns, I guess. But we've been having an issue with collection lately. He will fight it, and I was told that on a normal basis he will continue pulling with his front legs instead of pushing with the back, and his head set is just that, a head set.
I was wondering, what are some exercises I can do with him to gain strength in his hind end and make him push, instead of just rounding his neck and acting like he is?
(And while I'm at it, anyone know and tips for the days when his canter is extremely flat and so is his jump?)
I'm just looking for people who might know some training tips I can work on, anything at all.
In order to get real collection you need to tighten you reins until he gives his nose and release, this will teach him to carry his head and give to the bit. Once he does this (he may already do that much) but push him forward at the trot to an extended trot (posting trot) and drive him forward with your seat. All the while keeping his neck and top line level while his nose stays vertical. This manuever will build up endurance, balance, hindquarters and topline
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I'll try to post a pic of what I mean...
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This isn't the best pic, but gives you an idea, my hands are very gentle and only applying pressure when needed. reins are nice and loose and she is striding underneath of her self well. This would be considered a posting trot or extended trot. Hope that made since..do you have any questions lol?
I'm assuming as this is posted in the english riding, its english riding, and I am not too sure if there are any differences between english/western.
Firstly, I think what you're trying to describe is a half halt. You don't just use the reins though. I have copied this from a previous thread I replied to as I feel that this is also what you require, OP. Headset and collection come from working from behind (not dragging on the front) and a relaxed back from the horse, half halts, leg and seat all used correctly from yourself.
Secondly, coming 'round' or on the bit comes from a mix of things, not just the bit.
You need to ensure your horse is warmed up correctly. When I warm up in walk and trot, I never go whole school, I have single loop serpentines, three loop serpentines, 20 m circles, change the rein through half the school, change out of the corner, 10m circles in walk. Anything, use your imagination.
If you struggle to get your horse to listen to your aids, and he doesn't work from behind, transitions. However, correct transitions. When you ask for walk to trot, or trot to walk/ halt it has to be on the dot, not teeper down in to it. When you think walk, he walk's. You have to prepare the horse with half halts on the outside rein, let him know something new is coming. You get him ready with your legs and seat then BAM, do it. Don't pull back on him. As you do more and practise more, it'll become easier.
Also position. When the horse is working correctly from behind, he'll start to swing in his back, and naturally drop his head, they do it in the field, free lunging, anything. Its comfy for them. You want to have him in an outline though... so, you need quiet quiet hands. I was always told my outside rein is my 'working' rein, and my inside rein is my 'direction' rein, direction as in left right, I'm combo with leg and seat, and also head position. If your horse resists, don't pull and fight, give and take. Your trainer should be able to explain this clearly to you. Keep sending the horse forwards, though.
Lower your hand position if you need to, and don't expect the horse to come up and neat and tidy straight away, it is very exhausting for a horse, roundess and suppleness does not mean he has to be up in your face. When he comes in to an outline, reward with a 'give' of the rein, I'm not saying throw it away, its a small action which makes all the difference in the world.
I think it's not a collection you worry about, but connection. :-) For him to move round you first have to build all those muscles he needs to support himself. It takes time (quite a bit sometime) and correct riding. My best advice would be to take some lessons with the dressage trainer.
The principles are the same western or english. You still need collection and connection. To build balance, strength, hindquarters and top line. Whether in a western or english saddle the horse should still be strided forward while also gently asking for collection from the face. This will make the horse have to pick up their forequarters in order to keep up the speed, and in turn producing muscles and balance.
But you don't ask for collection from the 'face' of the horse, or even connection. That's what makes a horse heavy on the fore, lean in to the hands of the rider and ignore aids from the bit.
To ask from collection, a correct half halt is required, at the right time, whilst the inside leg gives impulsion on the trunk, the rider uses its seat. Its not just about using your hands to bring your horse's nose to its chest, you have to collect an ENTIRE horse, not just the front end.
Duffy is right (not sure about western riding, but I'd guess it's also the entire horse, not just front).
And while this video was beat up to death on this forum I gonna post it anyway for the OP :D :
Kitten wish I could watch that but I think that would be the straw that breaks the camel's back and my laptop would die!
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