Is it the same english and western, it's just that the horses are built differently so it looks different?
The term "collection" has several meanings, and is used differently by different disciplines.
Dressage riders use the term collection to mean more animation, exagerated cadence, lowering of the croup and increased angulation of the hind limbs. A collected horse is like a coiled spring and feels like it's sitting down a little behind.
A hunter rider might use collection as a synonym for a slower or shortened gait, for instance "collected sitting trot" instead of "slow sitting trot." Hunter riders still want their horses connected back to front while they slow or shorten the gait; with the hind legs coming well under the body.
Western riders tend to use the term collected as a synonym for slow or shortened too, but in some cases, like in Western Pleasure, to get the desired gait, they actually disengage the hindend. I believe (and I hope a reiner will help me out here) reiners use the term to mean something closer to the dressage meaning, or between the hunter and dressage meaning - a reiner wouldn't want the horse to disengage the hind end.
All disciplines require the horse to be engaged. Moving from hind through to the bit. We all strive to have our horses soft, supple, engaged, and off the forehand undersaddle.
Now the level of collection we ask for is going to be different.
A well respected Dressage clinician out here use to say Upper Level Dressage horses are so collected they are one step away from a small explosion. She used a coiled up spring as an example. They have so much power, and engagement it is fantastic for what they want to perform the movements asked of them. However, if you aren't careful you can have that 'spring' affect of energy if released incorrectly.
I, personally, don't want that kind of energy under me. I am still looking for collection with my horse. Just not to that level.
I'd be interested to here some opinions of some other WP and reining riders.
I have certainly seen lots of WP horses moving with their hind ends behind them both at the jog and the lope, though it is entirely possible I haven't seen a good or correctly trained one.
Oh, and let's define our terms, as engagement has different meanings in different disciplines. In this context, I am refering to engagement as how far under the body the hind leg travels. Dressage horses and hunters must at least track up or having signifigant overtrack. So when I say WP horses disengage the hind end, I mean the hind leg doesn't come up under the body or come close to tracking up. I would be very hard to produce the WP jog or lope if they were.
My Reiners will ALWAYS engage their hind end. My WP horses do what they need to so long as they aren't killing their spine in the process. Obviously, a Reiner needs a powerful rear to handle all the manuevers desired. Or at least in my opinion. One of the reasons why I like the Trashadeous bloodlines. I dislike the temperment, but I love the rear despite it being hard to handle. I'd rather have that then a flimsy rear that wouldn't handle stops an rollbacks.
As for collection, I use it as a shortened stide. I teach my horses to "collect" their strides and bring their legs up more. Just like in dressage....The "passage" I believe it's called. And extention for me is the horse drawing out to a longer stride, covering more ground.
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So, we start by...
getting our horses to tack up
getting them forward
then on a contact we push them from back to front into the bit
but the Head will either be lower or higher because of the horses conformation?
but before we ask them to go on a loose rein and stay collected it takes years of collection with contact?
But is it different training to get all the different head positions, some are high (Dressage) some are lower (reining) is it all the same?
I dont get it.
However, to get a true lope, and true jog...the horse DOES have to be using itself properly from behind. Now, you may not see them overtracking exactly (Charlie our DWB/TB does this just at a walk...hence his ability to pull shoes in pasture!). However, they doesn't mean they aren't truly engaged from behind.
We don't want slow and short. We want long, but slow strides. As my trainer says, she wants to feel the hocks slap her as she lopes them. When I ask for collection in my horse, I am saying....Hey, lengthen your strides, but don't speed up. Similar to a half-halt.
This was a video taken of my 8 year old WP gelding on his second day of learning lead changes (don't mind his first two attempts, he was fresh into his lesson). He wouldn't be able to switch so smoothly if he was not using his hocks properly.
AQHA...In terms of headset, don't worry about it. Too many people worry about where the horses head is, and they cause a 'false frame'. The head is down and 'rounded', but the back is down, and they aren't engaged from behind.
If you are pushing your horse properly from the hind, they will naturally relax into the bridle. Now where they go depends on the horse.
One of the troubles we get into in cross discipline conversations is terms like collection and engagement.
In the precisest (dressage) sense of the word, hunters, WP horses and reiners do not collect - the are connected from back to front, but they are not collected, because they do not have the roundness in the back, the rise in the entire ribcage, the "sit" behind or the coiled energy. The exception may some reiners while spinning - I've seen them come pretty close. However, it's still different from the sustained collected paces an upper level dressage horse maintains.
From a dressage or a hunter sense, the horse in the video is not well engaged in the hind end. She may be working from her hind end, and may be a lovely, well-schooled horse, but engagement in this sense would require that her hind legs come much further under her body.
When I referred to WP horses disengaging their hind end, this is what I meant:
Google Image Result for http://equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/western/pleasure/karen_qualls_jog1_5.jpg
This horse is clearly also well trained, and probably a joy to ride, but not engaging the hind end in the sense I use the word.
This is a dressage horse with good engagement:
And this is a hunter with good engagement:
How can a horse be connected through the hind to the bit, but not be collected? That IS collection.
What you are talking about is type of movement. You can not compare the movement of a Warmblood to that of a QH. They are going to appear different. Or when we are talking about FEI Level Dressage...that is very different. Most people never make FEI level to begin with.
What is Dressage? Training. Any horse with proper training should be able to compete easily through Lower Level Dressage.
Leg yields, countercantering, shoulder in etc. That all requires a horse to be on the aids.
Collection does not mean the horse has to be overtracking. It means it should be engaged from the hind(again you do not have to be overtracking to be engaged), round through the back, and soft in the bridle. It is also relative to the breed in question. Not all horses are going to move in the same fashion as another.
The horse in the video is not 'into the bit' at all times. However, she is giving him his head so he is more able to switch leads as he is learning.
It's truly not important that you and I agree on the terminology. What is important that you understand that outside of your discipline, the terms "engagement" and "collection" do in fact have different uses and different meanings.
If you refer to a horse with moderate engagement that's on the aids as "collected" be prepared for horsemen within your discipline to accept that description and dressage riders to reject it vigorously.
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