Collection vs natural horse movement - why would horses not choose collection? - Page 10 - The Horse Forum
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post #91 of 177 Old 03-15-2016, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
bsms - the only way you will ever understand what it means for a horse to 'round its back muscles and 'lift its back' is for you to take dressage lessons to learn how to ask for it and then ride a horse that knows how to respond to those cues and is fit and trained to do it - and then ride one that isn't
This was interpreted by me to mean a well trained dressage horse since it referred to dressage lessons, and then right after said horse trained to do "it" which I took to mean dressage. May have misinterpreted but that is how I read it.
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post #92 of 177 Old 03-15-2016, 01:13 AM
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I don't think any well trained horse came up with 'bunching', but I could have missed one of those long and detailed dissertations !
I believe we had bunching in horses at liberty, getting ready to bolt, rear, or whatever , which, in my thoughts, is irrelevant There is also 'false collection, ', where head set is forced, with importance of correct movement ignored, but I'm about to hop off of this endless spinning 'carousel,' going no where, except round and round!
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post #93 of 177 Old 03-15-2016, 01:27 AM
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I'm about to hop off of this endless spinning 'carousel,' going no where, except round and round!
Round and round! Good joke. Perhaps we should invert it.
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post #94 of 177 Old 03-15-2016, 01:49 AM
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Round and round! Good joke. Perhaps we should invert it.
A freudian slip must have made me leave that 'a' off!
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post #95 of 177 Old 03-15-2016, 09:20 AM
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This was interpreted by me to mean a well trained dressage horse since it referred to dressage lessons, and then right after said horse trained to do "it" which I took to mean dressage. May have misinterpreted but that is how I read it.
I don't see why you would have a problem with this post?
Most of the confusion that results in disagreement on these threads comes directly from a lack of understanding of normal well used terms that are probably used more in dressage lessons hence my suggestion to take some lessons so someone can explain them first hand while you're actually seated on a horse - and if you're riding a horse that's trained to respond correctly to the right cues its going to be so much easier to achieve than if you have one of those 'blind leading the blind' situations
I was looking through some videos yesterday for examples and one trainer was using the expression ' package the horse' - now that's a new one to me but I could immediately grasp what she was getting at because I understand the concept of bringing a horse together as part of the collection process.
Collection is NOT a style of riding, its just another 'tool' in your box that's there when you need it
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post #96 of 177 Old 03-15-2016, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
This was interpreted by me to mean a well trained dressage horse since it referred to dressage lessons, and then right after said horse trained to do "it" which I took to mean dressage. May have misinterpreted but that is how I read it.
You did misinterpret. You had to read every post in this thread to follow the sub-discussions going on. The quote you are objecting to had nothing to do with 'bunching'. It was a response to post 28 when bsms wrote:

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Originally Posted by bsms
So enlighten me...what do YOU mean when you say a horse rounds its back?
and then gave all of the reasons it is impossible.
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post #97 of 177 Old 03-15-2016, 10:39 AM
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We use collection when we're riding in certain disciplines because it gives the horse the best way of dealing with whatever we're asking it to do at any specific time so we train a horse to 'collect' to our demand
This.

Many horses are athletes or an animal with purpose and job. In order to perform their job at their highest, they must be properly equipped - not much unlike yourself!

For example, for a horse to be a high level jumper he must be able to collect himself. Why? Because flying lead changes are integral to the horse staying balanced as he goes around the course, constantly changing directions. Without balance, he is setting himself up for nothing but failure over a jump. So what does this have to do with collection? Well, because a lead change starts at the back end, in the hocks. The horse must be able to extend that hind leg underneath himself on the fly to perform a lead change. How can the horse possibly do this if he is heavy on the forehand, aka, the opposite of collected? The answer is: he can't!

Think of an athletic horse like a wave out in the ocean. The energy that creates the crest of the wave starts at the bottom, moves forward, then peaks at the top to create the arch. Performance horses must be exactly like that wave, gathering their energy from behind and PUSHING forward with that energy. When that happens, the horse naturally crests, and becomes 'collected', his front end elevating and his neck arching.

So for our high level jumper, this frees up his front end and his shoulders, allowing him to step under himself to make that lead change on the fly - something he absolutely cannot do if he is leading on his front legs.

I guess what I'm trying to say in short, is that collection is necessary and mostly reserved for the performance horse. He must have this tool in his box in order for perform advanced and athletic maneuvers. Pleasure horses can benefit from collection as well because performing collection works the entire muscle structure of the horse like an all-body workout. Because horses are presumed to be ridden their entire lives, good muscle structure of the back especially not only improves a horse's ability to carry a rider, but can improve his quality of life as well. Just like with humans, the more fit our horses are, the most likely they are to lead healthy and longer lives.
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post #98 of 177 Old 03-15-2016, 11:17 AM
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Without collection, impossible to ride a tight trail pattern, a western riding pattern, doing precise cadenced flying changes, so, yes, a tool for any performance horse
If you don't like the term collection, use engaged, working off the hind end, together or whatever. If you just recreational ride, why even be concerned about collection, esp if you find the entire idea of collection dis tasteful?
It always surprises me, why those that don't show, that don't ever want a horse that has a higher degree of training, are the ones most vocal against it
Not everyone just wants to trail ride. Horses today are used mainly in recreational pursuits, and not required to get day to day chores done, like plowing fields or getting from point A to point B
It is in fact, the show/ competition industry that fuels the horse economy, so even if you don't like to show/compete, at least a little tolerance and understanding towards those that do, might be in order.
I enjoy both trail riding and showing, or, at least the satisfaction of training my horse so he can perform some basic advanced maneuvers, and collection is part of that package, to use as needed.
I know, I was going to stay away, but got drawn back anyway!
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post #99 of 177 Old 03-15-2016, 05:35 PM
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That "fuels the horse economy" is right on. A point I have tried to make when I respond to threads of this sort.
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post #100 of 177 Old 03-16-2016, 10:40 PM
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"OKay- to simplify, Collected, means to 'bring together', shorten /compress, and would be the opposite of strung out,."

The FEI defines it differently.

"But more importantly is where the center of gravity lies. Think of collection as a loading of the hind legs- a shifting of the center of gravity to the rear.
"
In HNP1 peak forces decreased in the forelimbs; in HNP5 peak forces increased in fore- and hindlimbs.

Conclusions: HNP5 had the biggest impact on limb timing and load distribution and behaved inversely to HNP1 and HNP6. Shortening of forelimb stance duration in HNP5 increased peak forces although the percentage of stride impulse carried by the forelimbs decreased.

Discussion: At the walk, regardless of the statistical significance, virtually all changes of force and temporal parameters showed a concurrent direction in HNP1 and HNP6, and a concurrently opposite direction in HNP3 and HNPS.
"...Although the impulse redistributions between the forehand and the hindquarters seen in HNP1, HNP6 and HNP5 were statistically significant, it should be noted that these load shifts were small (between 1-1.8%). Similarly small shifts in load to the hindquarters 1.8%) are reported by Roepstorff et al. (2002)..."

...Collection may, therefore, be a reflection of an increased vertical impulse of the body that indicates a more impulsive gait. The decreased StD promotes a faster build-up of force, increased FZpeak and results in prolonged SpD. Perhaps the perceived shift in weight due to a reorientation in movement direction towards the vertical as is indicated by the concomitant increased loading of the fore- and hindlimb. We therefore suggest that the impulse shift to the hindlimb is a compensatory mechanism. To achieve the redirection of the resultant force vector acting on the centre of gravity of the horse into a more vertical direction, the body has to increase stiffness. This reasoning is supported by the decrease in range of movement of the whole thoracic back (TIO-T17) in HNP5 (Gomez Alvarez etal. 2006).

In conclusion, no impressive shifts in load distribution between forehand and hindquarters caused by changing the HNP were observed. However, in the unrestrained position and in the position with the neck and head extended forward, load was shifted at the walk towards the forelimbs, whereas in the extremely elevated position load was shifted to the hindquarters at walk and trot. A shift of impulse from the forehand to the hindquarters is not necessarily associated with a reduction of FZpeak in the forelimbs. In a movement pattern where forelimb StD decreases, as observed in HNP5, higher peak forces are to be expected. The experiment demonstrated that an extremely high neck affects functionality much more than an extremely low neck.
Effect of head and neck position on vertical ground reaction forces and interlimb coordination in the dressage horse ridden at walk and trot on a treadmill - Equine vet. J., Suppl. 36 (2006) 387-392

"Because the balance has been shifted to the hindquarters, the weight in the reins is light and pleasant."

Begs the question, then - why do dressage riders use a lot more pressure on the reins than western riders? Why do dressage riders talk of riding with the reins in their FISTS instead of FINGERS, and say it is dangerous to ride with the reins in your fingers? Why did a dressage rider use 20-25 lbs of pressure to stop a horse at a canter, and a reiner use 5 lbs, both using the same bit? Why did Clayton measure 8 lbs of pressure for a half-halt, and alternating between 4-6 lbs of pressure at "light contact", vs 1 lb of pressure for slack - and most western riders prefer slack reins?

Why is it that it is bad to nag a horse with your legs, but good to nag a horse with the bit? Why would constantly bouncing your leg against the horse dull the horse, but doing the equivalent with the bit make him "soft"? Why would ANYONE call this "good riding":



Repeating the myths of dressage does not make them true.

" Pleasure horses can benefit from collection as well because performing collection works the entire muscle structure of the horse like an all-body workout. Because horses are presumed to be ridden their entire lives, good muscle structure of the back especially not only improves a horse's ability to carry a rider, but can improve his quality of life as well."

Again, repeating myths will not make them come true. Muscle use is very specific. When you do a bicep curl, the fibers used to create the first 30 deg of motion are different from the ones creating the next 30 deg, and so on. If you exercise the bicep thru the last 60 degrees of motion, you will have a very strong bicep - for the last 60 degrees of motion.

Again, the back does not bend. It does not round up. The muscles of the back to not work that way. They work to stiffen the spine, protecting it. The stiffen to allow the back to transmit energy from the hind legs, not to the bit, but to the shoulders, moving the front legs - those useless appendages so often ignored in the language of dressage.

How do you strengthen the back? By riding. By riding in turns and riding up and down hills. By doing transitions in gaits and speeds within gaits. By riding the horse thru the maneuvers you need him to be ridden thru. Am I to believe these horses are not athletic and strong?






Odds are, that horse has not emphasized "collection". Not the "collection" that dressage riders boast of. He probably isn't used to doing "half-halts" every time his rider wants him to change a speed or make a turn. The fact that many horses are ridden their entire lives without a half-halt should suggest, at least, that half-halts, and bouncing the horse off the bit, and holding him together so his energy doesn't "spill out" the front is not needed for an athletic horse.

Notice this horse, on a winning run in a national championship, using its elevated withers to quickly and athletically turn:



And this one, likewise:



Me neither. It is simply and undeniably false to say collection is a prerequisite for fast turns, accelerating, or a strong, athletic and responsive horse.

"It always surprises me, why those that don't show, that don't ever want a horse that has a higher degree of training, are the ones most vocal against it"

You completely miss the point. What you call "higher degree of training" isn't "higher" unless one defines the goals. This is a high degree of training, and I would hope we could agree it takes a LOT of training to achieve it:



But that is not good training for what I want from a horse. I want the horse to use its judgment, and the horses I know would say, "Aw HELLLLL NO! We're going AROUND, not OVER!" I deliberately train my horses to refuse me if I ask something stupid.

Of course, good judgment comes from bad judgment, so the only way a horse can learn good judgment is by making mistakes - just like a human. That requires one to ride a horse into situations that will, sometimes, by accident, overwhelm it. But no horse can learn to think well without the chance of failure - just like humans cannot.

Training a horse to use independent judgment is not "low riding". I argue it is, if anything, BETTER horsemanship than teaching a horse blind obedience, since it gives the horse confidence and improves the horse's chances of staying alive. It works with the best of the horse's nature rather than smothering it with demands for unquestioning obedience.

Training Bandit to go past scary things on a loose rein is not low training, while bouncing of the bit is high training. No one here says no one should be able to compete in dressage. It was a guy who loved dressage who taught me the concept of giving a horse rein when he is scared, instead of trying to hold him tight. And his advice proved extremely effective with Mia. It is now paying benefit with Bandit.

But training a horse's MIND to exercise independent judgement is not the goal of dressage. Yet training the body is easy comparing to training the mind. Folks may poo-poo the idea of calming a bolting horse, so that the bolting horse turns into a running horse - but I've tried it, and it worked. I know - I couldn't have REALLY tried it. Mia couldn't have REALLY been bolting when she squirted diarrhea out the back. When my daughter said her eyes were rolling like slot machines, she was just making it up. After all, if a self-taught rider could do it, then what about those trained riders who have NOT been successful? Hmmm?

But the horse has a mind. Unlike a previous post on this thread suggested, a car is a pee-poor analogy for a horse. I've never had to train a car to go right when I turn the wheel. But all of my horses have needed training to turn softer. We do not control the horse. Based on what modern scientists have measured, we have gone centuries without even realizing HOW the horse moves! We can only influence the mind. We do not create impulsion with OUR legs. We can only ask, and train a horse to respond with impulsion to a cue.

Lilly, a horse I rarely write about, learned to wither rein. I preceded a request for a left turn with pressure to the left on her withers. Same with a right turn. Before long, she would turn left or right in response to pushing with my fingers on her wither. I felt a little silly, so I stopped do it. But it worked. It was just a cue. We cue horses. We do not control their bodies.

Still, if anyone wants to train in dressage or for sustained collection, no one on this thread has said not to do so. Some of us have merely said it is not needed for a good horse. It is pathetic that such a statement is considered radical or a cause for outrage by so many on HF.
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Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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