Creating a well behaved and balanced animal,
can come along together nicely, if we’re not afraid to take just that little piece of collection.
A lot of my new riders begin with a fear of that, as though they’re kind of holding on,
or pulling back on the horse. It’s fearing and using their mouth, rather than the forward
movement that we like to use, the hindquarter impulsion, moving forward into the bridle.
We’re going to ask this rider to go ahead and walk forward, as she begins to ask for
some light collection. We talked about the hand position, and now we’re gong to add,
moving this horse forward, off of her leg, and remembering the concepts of balancing
and moving this horse in a round fashion, around her inside leg. I like my horses to
get pretty quickly on to that submissive, quiet in the bridle, moving forward, so that
I can take charge, and control everything from his nose, onward through to his tail.
We like to take charge, so that we can create that position from ourselves and the horse,
where the rider is predicting every footstep, that this horse takes. As we move this horse
forward into the bridle, maintaining the collection, we also see him using his body more athletically.
It’s a hard step, and it’s one that many riders avoid, because it’s confusing, if you feel
as though you’re in a battle with the horse, and the horse is not submitting, as you like.
It’s always best to kind of step back and repeat it often at the stand still, until
that horse feels that off of your soft half halt, asking him to submit as you stand still,
you can move that then to the walk, and as we’ll see here, we can also go to the jog.
Let’s ask this horse to jog, and begin asking for that more submissive, and collected style
jog. In the beginning, it will feel as though you might be holding a bit of tension, to
the horse’s mouth. Again we stress, it’s holding tension, not pulling. The horse then, has
permission to find and submit to their own reward, so as this horse submits, he finds
his own reward. The rein will become a bit looser, and that’s when the rider can start
to take advantage of the body mechanics that have brought this horse to that point, where
the loose rein can then be emphasized. We could take this horse, and through collection,
eventually put those reins down to that loose, long, Western Pleasure style of riding, and
ask the horse to maintain his position, because someday he will like this. He will find that
the ability to hold himself in a collective frame, is a compliment to his athletic movement,
so therefore, he will continue to seek that reward that brings him to the ultimate horse
that is collective, balanced, and smooth to the rider.