I'm not looking for any riding critique, I just have one question. Can you tell if she's actually collected at the canter or is she just tucking her nose for me?
On that day I did not mess with her head, at all.
While it's hard to tell from that point of the stride in that first pic, I can tell you she's using her neck muscles properly which indicates she is working truly full from behind rather than faking you out. If she were faking you out, her poll would not be the highest point in the pic, (which it is) and there would be a bulge somewhere in her lower neck muscles. (which there isn't) Sure looks like the real thing to me.
Thank you. I have yet to achieve that again. It seemed to be only for that week which now has me puzzled because I have no clue how I got her to do that. Other than I was working a lot of circles with her. She just randomly dropped her head and kept it there whenever I cantered her for three days straight. I was amazed. But now I'm puzzled.
to me she/he looks like hes trying to fight you a little. when ever you are loping and are on the right lead she/he should automatically know to drop her head. when you are loping/cantering and you feel as if she was pulling or giving nudges she is fighting you. even if its slightly it still means she wants to get away. i would first off try to just stand without moving at all and use your reins and get her to break down her notches in her head. you should feel about three. thats when they are giving you there head. if she starts to back that is ok cause thats how they first learn to start backing up. hope that helps
personally, it looks to me like she isn't in a true frame. especially if you have that strong of a bit with that much leverage to get her to give to the bit. her head is in, but she is not level with her withers or even slightly above. unless you are asking for that high of a headset. i think you should try using a french link snaffle and lots of leg..and i mean LOTS to really get her moving forward into the bit, and play around with it a little (the bit that is, wiggle your hands so she knows its there), its taken me a year messing around with my horse and trying different things, but that is the kind of bit he goes in and he has been absolutely wonderful with his head carriage the last week with no side reins, draw reins or any kind of gadgets :)
(all this is coming from a hunter rider on the VHSA curcuit, so if you ride "wenglish" or something else, you may want to disregard this)
I didn't think that the height of the head itself affected whether or not a horse is collected.
you can tell she is not truley collected at least in the first picture because she is strung out and trailing with her back legs, i guess the height of the head doesnt matter, but it looks to me like she is just trying to evade the pressure that the bit is imposing.
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