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[RC] Define "Collection" - k s swigart

Chris Paus said:

I can collect her now at the walk. We're still working
on trot and canter collection.

I must confess to being a bit confused by this statement.  Since, if I
use MY definition of collection, the statement seems totally backwards.
Since if I use my definition of collection, the easiest gait to collect
is the canter (although some people won't agree on me about this, and it
isn't true for all horses some horses are easier at the trot) both of
these are FAR easier to collect than the walk.

So, just to make sure we are all talking about the same thing....just
how DO people define collection?

Me?  Collection is defined as shortening the horse's stride to less than
it's working stride length without changing the tempo while at the same
time maintaining the implusion from behind and the purity of the gait
(which is why it is really hard to do at the walk because almost all
horses become pacey if you try to collect their walk before they have
the strength to do it correctly).

What Chris described in her post:

Instead of straining against the bit, she tucked her head
and did a nice collected, albeit somewhate animatedl, trot...

Sounds an awful lot to me like what _I_ would describe as jigging and
going behind the bit (although I can't say for sure, since I didn't see
it).  However, the inclination to go behind the bit is the other reason
that it is really hard to collect the walk :), so I rarely ever ask for
it, at all, until the horse is confirmed in its ability to easily
collect (and understand what is being asked for) both the trot and the

If different people are using some other definition of collection, it
would be nice to know so I can better understand what they are talking
about when they say to they are collecting the horse. I KNOW that there
are some people who use the word differently, since there are some
people who use the word to describe what western pleasure horses are
doing :), and as near as I can tell, what these people mean by it is
drop the horse's head (and transfer the weight to the forehand while
trailing the hindquarters somewhere in the next county while the horse
shuffles along in a pacey walk, and disunited trots and canters???).

Orange County, Calif.


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