True collection is oftentimes a misunderstood concept. Yet, it’s application is essential for top performance, especially for the stop and lead changes. And it's really not that difficult to achieve, once you understand it. Unfortunately however, most people think if the horse merely flexes at the poll, he is collected. They are mistaken, and as a result end up with a horse that performs way below it's potential.
Many horses are capable of doing way more
that what their riders realize!
True collection allows you to position the horse's body to perform beautiful stops with very little effort. True collection is what keeps your horse using his hindquarters no matter what maneuver you perform or what gait you're in.
So, what is "true" collection?
True collection is a way of riding your horse that teaches him to round his back, lower his croup and travel with his hocks farther under his body. When done correctly, collection also teaches a horse to flex at the poll, relax his lower jaw and become soft, supple and light.
Here are just a few of the benefits of
getting your horse collected:
Your horse's stops will be deeper and and at the same time his mouth will feel softer. His neck and shoulders will also be more relaxed.
Flying lead changes will be more controlled and precise with far fewer missed hind leads.
Spins and turn-a-rounds will be more free and smoother too. Usually, a well collected horse will have a better (more level) top-line when spinning.
Your horse will lope smoother and more balanced because he'll be striding with his hind legs farther under his body. His lope will be more controlled.
Better head-position while performing any maneuver.
Once you ride a horse that is truly collected, you will wonder how your training program ever got along without it. This video goes into great detail explaining what “true” collection really is and how to teach it to your horse.
You will learn how to teach your horse to round his back, engage his hocks and flex at the poll. And most importantly, do it in balance with a “finger-tip” light mouth.