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Velvetgrace 10-04-2008 08:12 AM

Lack of Understanding Terminology Used on this forum....
I am the kind of person whose family (mom, dad, and grandpa) rode ranch horses and took them to the local rodeo for barrel racing or pole bending on the weekend during the summers. Horses back then were a tool only for getting jobs done. Horses were not trained to do fancy stuff. If a horse was bossy and charged at you they would meet a tree branch. Training aids and fancy gear was never any option. You would use your brother's saddle and and ride in a halter and lead rope if there was not enough briddles to go around. So I was never exposed to the type of terminology that some people on here use.

My history is I was on the back of a horse when I was 8 year old and only rode with a horse being led. Then I actually got my first horse when I was 16. This colt was 6 months old. I studied and learned how to teach a horse basic ground manners and this all eventually led to breaking the horse to ride with very basic skills. Over time, I was allowed to care for and break and train a couple of two year olds and began to learn more and more each time different ways to approach breaking and training techniques. I always had nose in a book, my ears listening, and my mouth always asking questions on how to teach a horse something.

Some of the terminology used on this board I don't understand because I have never came across it. My riding style is western and I only know what an english saddle looks like (never took the time to learn anything about this style of riding)


1. Flexing - ?

2. Disengaging hind quarters - ?

3. bending laterally and vertically - ?

4. Collect - ? something to due while they are moving

** As I find more terms, I will post them. I only want to know what other people are refereing to or talking about when they leave a message on this board about training.

Spyder 10-04-2008 10:01 AM

The above are terms used in both English and Western training. For what you have done these terms were probably not used but you in all likelihood actually did them.

Flexing and bending laterally, vertically ( also called bending longitudinally) is simply the bending of the horse left or right (laterally) or from tail to head ( vertically/longitudinally). Now this very simplified as there is a lot more to it than that but I am making the description very basic.

Disengaging the hindquarters is a term often used in the one rein stops and it is meant to put the horse in a position where the horse is moved over and giving the rider supposedly more control of the hindquarters. I am personally at odds with this particular terminology.

Collect is the bringing together of the horse in a more controlled fashion to be able to make it more balanced and straight. This term has so many purposes that I would not be able to simplify it any more than this but I will leave it at this for the sake of not confusing you.

iridehorses 10-04-2008 03:56 PM

As I've always use the term "Disengage the hind quarters" in moving the rear of my horse off it's course of following the front end. What you are doing is to move his rear over without moving the whole horse. It takes his mind off what he is doing since it is basically unnatural and takes effort.

Collection is having your horse move from the rear rather then the front end. Collection takes a good deal of time to train. What you are doing is to hold his front as you increase your leg pressure causing your horse to round his back and move his rear under himself. When this is done properly your horse will use his rear for propulsion, his neck will bend at the poll, his head will be vertical to the ground and his front end will feel light. Your horse is then said to be "on the bit". If he over flexes his neck he is "behind the bit" and it is an avoidance. If his head is forward of vertical he is "in front of the bit" and will not be in collection.

Many horses that carry their heads vertical give the illusion of collection but their backs are hollow and are being ridden on their front end.

Vidaloco 10-04-2008 09:26 PM

I think its great that you are asking these questions. I've only been riding a short 7 years after a 30 year hiatus. Things sure did change.
You have probably been doing many of the things you asked about. You just didn't have a name for it :wink:

luvs2ride1979 10-05-2008 12:52 AM

I can understand how confusing it all can be! Spend enough time on th eboards though, and you'll get it down for the most part :wink:.

1. Flexing - Bending a horse laterally, like around a small circle or in a small figure eight. You want the whole horse to bend, nose to tail. It can also refer to flexing at the poll or through the next, which is vertical flexion. This is where the horse is "giving to the bit", relaxing into the bridle and becoming soft in your hands. The whole horse should round here too, from poll (top of the head) to tail. You should feel the horse's back come up under your saddle the same time he/she rounds the neck.

2. Disengaging hind quarters - This is where the horse "unlocks" the rear end and moves it independently from the front end. You can move the horse sideways, or around it's front end in a circle (turn on the forehand or front pivot).

3. bending laterally and vertically - I explained that above in flexing.

4. Collect - PROPER collection (for any style of riding) is when a horse only slightly shortens its strides (how far the front and back legs reach forward) while slowing the motion significantly. A truly collected horse will still be reaching with those legs, but moving slower. The back and neck will be rounded (even if just slightly) and the horse will look like it's "thinking," at least that's what they look like to me, lol. A jog and lope done RIGHT are collected versions of a trot and canter, as well as being slower (slower than a collected trot or canter in the Dressage arena).

*ArabianPrincess* 10-05-2008 05:45 AM

here is a cool thing to remember -

You can't have bend without flexion. but you can have flexion without bend.

tehehe, if i got that right.

Velvetgrace 10-06-2008 08:53 AM

Thank you!!!!!!!!

I am getting a good idea of how the puzzle pieces being to fit to make a picture.

I will keep asking to to know more about what others are talking about.

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