any tips on how to make a horse collect?
my 4 year old Paint mare, whom i'm training to be a contester, doesn't know how to collect, and to be honest i don't know how to teach her either! i would like her to use her hind end to propel herself forward more, instead of her front end, and would also like to build up the muscles on the side of her withers (i heard collecting does this.) she has a very extended fast trot.
any tips out there on how to do this? i'd appreciate any help i can get!
Teach her an Italian accent, then have her knock on doors holding a baseball bat,, collections will go way up. bahahahaha,,,
I'm sorry, been on a tugboat too long welcome to the forum. Lots of good info here.
I'm not sure if its the same for western horses, because I ride english.
Anyways I was always taught to play a little with the inside rein to get the horse to flex at the poll, like a 1-2-3-rest-1-2-3 type thing (NOT over flexing, you want their face to either form a vertical line down or be just in front of that ) and then holding this position (frame) you drive the horse into the bridle with your seat and legs, this doesn't mean get her racing forward, it will just bring her energy from the usual trot and put it into lifting herself and carrying you better.
Hope some of that helped if anything was relevant :)
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Welcome to the forum!! :wave:
Although the degree of collection called for varies from discipline to discipline, the basic idea stays the same. Collection is the end result of all-around good riding and muscle building. Take a look at the Dressage board as well - even though it is more dressage-oriented, the basic concepts are the same whether you want to ride dressage, WP, jump, or run barrels.
Although this is a huge topic, I'll first direct you towards the Training Scale. Leaving aside the detailed differences between French and German schools and whatnot, the Training Scale basically runs like this:
Collection is the "capstone" of the training scale, and is only possible if the horse is forward (more than just Energizer-Bunny speedy), relaxed and in rhythm, supple, accepting of contact (more than just hands), moving with impulsion, and straight. The tough part of the training-scale concept is that everything is worked on at once, so to speak. We don't just master suppleness without working on something else. That being said, each step builds on the one before it - if the horse isn't travelling forward with relaxation and rhythm, he's going to have a very hard time suppling and accepting contact.
So, first off, is your mare moving truly forward, relaxed and with steady rhythmic gaits? If not, there's your starting point. You really can't "make" a horse do anything, much less collect in any true and proper sense of the word.
Here are a few links to sites and books that might be helpful to you:
The Art of Classical Riding--Dressage Training for Horse and Rider
::: Sustainable Dressage - - Welcome to my Site about Sustainable Dressage! :::
Apologies for all the dressage-centric resources... honestly, the point is the same. A Paint responds the same way as a TB or a Warmblood - the only difference is in the degree of true collection that constitutes a "collected horse" in a specific discipline. Small-d dressage is good for every sound horse, and can be done in any kind of saddle. :wink:
Good luck, and happy riding!! :D
The most important thing to remember is that you can't teach proper collection to a tense horse. She needs to be relaxed through her entire body. Also, you'll want to make sure your saddle fits well - part of collection involves raising the back, and most horses aren't willing to do this if their saddle pinches.
I find that the best prep to collection is lots of long and low work and hill work. With the long and low, the horse needs to continue to move forward, and raise their back. This helps not only aid in relaxation, but builds muscle through their back. Walking and trotting up and down hills helps to build muscle in their haunches. It's also great to combine them - if you have a long hill that isn't very steep, it's really great to trot it and ask for long and low. Make sure you sit WAY BACK, and let the horse find it's own balance. This is a great way to check yourself and make sure that the horse hasn't begun to fall on its forehand in the long and low. When you first try this, do it near the bottom of the hill, so if you or your horse finds it especially hard to balance, you won't have to do it for too long.
That will take you some time. Like, a lot.
Riding is all about give and take. You should give and take by holding a steady soft connection and tightening and loosening the grip on your reins - you don't have to move your hands, much less your whole arm to ask the horse to round.
Could not have said this better! Thanks Scout, for taking the time to write that all out. love it.
i want to thank everyone that posted on this SOOOO MUCH! i'm so glad i found this little community. (: i will definitely take all of this knowledge and use it to better myself and my horse, thanks soooo much to all of you!! and @FreeDestiny i have been told briefly of this method to do so, thanks for further clarifying it!! and @ScoutRider that was soo much good information! thank you soo much, i will have to look into those links. i never really thought that dressage training would come in handy with my "western" training. thanks!!! and @clementine thanks to you too! i understand the slow walk/trot on hills but not so sure about the long and low. is this something that you do, or something that you strive for with the help of the hill climbing? please help me clarify lol (: THANKS AGAIN EVERYBODY!
For long and low, you want the horse to stretch forward and downward, raise their back, and step through with their hind end. It's very important that they are stretching forward, and not dropping their nose towards their chest and going behind the vertical. Also, what I meant to say for combining that with the hills is to trot down them while asking for long and low, if you feel comfortable.
This is a fairly good example of long and low, although the horse could stretch down even more.
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