How do I collect my horse for beginners? Part 1

Hey Dressage Superstars! Today’s question is, “How do I collect my horse for beginners? Part 1”

Collection is at the very top of the training scale, because you need to have everything else. You need to have your rhythm, you need to have your straightness, you need to have your connection, all different things you need to be able to have before you can start collecting.

Firstly, it doesn’t get you the result. And secondly, that’s not where collection comes from. It’s not a pulling backwards, you know, restraint. It’s asking the horse to take more weight on your hind leg and now go out, because I know that’s hard. And take more weight on your hind leg, and then go back out, take more weight on your hind leg, and then go back out.

 

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Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Hey dressage superstars. Today I’m going to answer the question, how do you start thinking about collection for your horse? Part one.

Collection is at the very top of the training scale, because you need to have everything else. You need to have your rhythm, you need to have your straightness, you need to have your connection, all different things you need to be able to have before you can start collecting. But it really cool exercise, you can start working with your young horse, is just your tempo control. So in the trot, you can slow your rise and slow down the trot, and then you can make your rise bigger and make the trot bigger, and then slow and big, and slow and big. And oh, sorry, slow, and then big. And what you want to do, is when you go slow that it’s coming off your body, I don’t want to drop him. You never want to drop the contact, so that didn’t look that good. I don’t want you to think, oh okay and collect and pull.

Firstly, it doesn’t get you the result. And secondly, that’s not where collection comes from. It’s not a pulling backwards, you know, restraint. It’s asking the horse to take more weight on your hind leg and now go out, because I know that’s hard. And take more weight on your hind leg, and then go back out, take more weight on your hind leg, and then go back out. It’s the rocking, good boy, the rocking of the weight. So when you’re on a young horse that’s not very strong, if you say, sit on your hind legs and stay there, they’re going to go, I’m going to fall over, I can’t do it and that’s when you’re going to have to start pulling and that’s when it’s not going to be good. So on a young horse, you just want to say, hey, go back for a second, and now have a rest, and go back for a second and now have a rest. And that builds your strength here in the gym doing five kilo dumbbells, not 50 kilo dumbbells.

And then your horse is going to get quite good at that, so then you can say, stay there to two strides and then go back out, and stay there for two strides and then come back out. And then obviously as the holes get stronger and stronger, you can also say, take all the weight. So when you’re on a really young horse your saying, can you just shift 1% of your body weight that’s pouring down on these shoulders and on the forehand, and just kind of shift it in the vicinity of here. That’s all you’re looking for at the very start. And then you like, okay when the horse is quite good and you’ve stepped it up, you know you’re saying 10% of this over here and 20% of this over here. And obviously a Grand Prix horse is 0% on the forehand and everything sitting on the hind legs in a movement like the piaffe.

So that’s your job. And how do you get there? How do you get from zero here? If you start off with a horse that’s a 100% here, and zero here, and your job is to get it from zero to a hundred, how do you start? 1% at a time. Just shift 1% at a time for one stride at a time or quarter of a stride at a time. And constantly, even now in my training, my coach is still saying, less, less, stop doing so much in one stride, just move a degree, then move another degree. You’re trying to move from 90 degrees that way to 90 degrees that way. Or 10% here to 10% here. It’s too much to do in one stride. Just make it, break it down and get a really good result from the little bits and that’s that whole paced in slowly. So you’ll get there quicker by going slower. You’ll get that quicker, your host will get stronger by going only for 1% onto its hind legs, then if you go for 10% and you never get it. So trust that helps, enjoy your training. See you next week.

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