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netg
Oct. 17, 2011, 10:30 AM
I keep reading that horses get bratty when they start really learning collection. Tell me stories about what you've gone through with your horses as they started to really collect?


In general I'm finding my horse is just more opinionated, but still very good. Sometimes he wants to do mediums instead of collect, and very often he wants to canter instead of trot, but we're getting along pretty well overall anyway. We went through a few weeks where he refused to stretch as he was getting the concept of collection, but he's learned he's supposed to adjust as I ask, not just do one thing now.
There was a MAJOR outburst (long bucking spree I wasn't aware I still had the skills to stay on until he was stopped, shaking, and I was still steady in my saddle) the other day, but I think it was his annual fall outburst, not related to collection... just more powerful now that he's stronger!

Rhiannonjk
Oct. 17, 2011, 11:16 AM
My general experience is that when you start working collection, the horse gets spookier. That pile of shavings has never mattered, but now that Dobbins is working harder and being asked to focus, he'll take any excuse to distract you, and jumping halfways across the arena is a GREAT distraction!

CFFarm
Oct. 17, 2011, 11:21 AM
If your horse is fit enough to be working on real collection. It's probably not brattiness-it's excess energy.:lol:

GreyStreet
Oct. 17, 2011, 11:28 AM
I think you hit the nail on the head with it being related to fitness and not necessarily collection itself. As the horse becomes increasingly fit and muscled, the endurance and energy level increases, as well.
My mare tends to ramp up to what is being asked of her - so even schooling some Third Level, I can put a beginner on her and she'll take care of them at the walk and will putz around for a few minutes at the trot. But get her motor going, and you'd better be ready to really RIDE and ask her to go correctly.

All the horses are feeling great right now with the cooler weather and increased fitness!

Oberon13
Oct. 17, 2011, 11:29 AM
My general experience is that when you start working collection, the horse gets spookier. That pile of shavings has never mattered, but now that Dobbins is working harder and being asked to focus, he'll take any excuse to distract you, and jumping halfways across the arena is a GREAT distraction!

THIS!!!! I can walk off the end of the world with my mare if I hold the reins at the buckle and mosey around. However, as soon as I pick up the reins, give a bit of leg/half halt and ask for real work, there are MONSTERS EVERYWHERE!!! It's amazing how I can make these scary creatures materialize out of thin air by simply picking up the reins. :D

netg
Oct. 17, 2011, 12:50 PM
If your horse is fit enough to be working on real collection. It's probably not brattiness-it's excess energy.:lol:

Oh, definitely. It being fall time, that's part of it, too.

My horse, who hasn't jumped in quite a while, decided we really should jump the 4' arena fence and locked on, gathered impulsion, got himself ready... when I was trying to get a long and relaxed canter. When I gathered up my reins and made him turn instead, he took it upon himself to see how long and hard he could buck. This was at the end of our ride when I was about to get off!

After getting correct and well-behaved work from him, I put him back in his pen (1 acre attached to the barn) and he proceeded to run for another half hour.

Definitely strong and fit - I'm just not sure how much is conditioning and strength vs. his being so much happier now that the weather has cooled off!


Incidentally, yesterday the next door neighbors were having a party in their backyard (along the end of the arena) with about 50 people, music, kids throwing soccer and footballs around, cattle mooing from all directions, and a scary dump truck working on the other side of their property - and he didn't care, but just went around like a little angel.

Funny guy.

alibi_18
Oct. 17, 2011, 02:50 PM
My mare is usually more...lets say 'energetic' after 3days of hard work in any clinics. We come back home and she's like : ''Yeah...lets work and work and work faster harder!!! Come on lady, just ask!!!! '' when I would simply like to have a little quiet ride because I'm exhausted from the same clinic and thought it would be nice for both of us to take it easy and have a 'day off'.... Nah.

As for collection, since its always asking for more power and more strenght, don't forget about muscle soreness and the horse becoming tired a bit more easily. They are big, muscled up to do the job but still, it is new and it needs time for them to adjust and be able to stay collected for a longer period of time. Massage is your friend! :D

Gloria
Oct. 17, 2011, 03:04 PM
Yeah since my pony discovered that he could use his back, he has declared that bucking is really fun and helps him to loosen up those joints and muscles. Now I have to be utter careful when asking for a canter depart; anything more than a brush with my heel produces a yeehaa, and buck buck buck, before he jumps forward into a beautiful canter. Forget about spurs if I plan to remain in the saddle. And this was one lazy pony only a year ago, whom I couldn't get a freaking canter to save our lives. grrr.

CZF
Oct. 17, 2011, 03:23 PM
I think some people make a mistake in trapping their horses a bit when they ask for more collection which leads to blow ups. Ideally, the more collected, the lighter your connection is on the mouth, but some people feel they need to pull back harder in order to collect.

I also think it's really taxing on their muscles, so some frequent walk breaks to let the lactic acid work its way out of the muscle will help keep the horse more comfortable.

And even for those who are doing it properly, as you coil the spring, sometimes no matter what you do, it just pops out sideways. LOL

netg
Oct. 17, 2011, 03:36 PM
Yeah since my pony discovered that he could use his back, he has declared that bucking is really fun and helps him to loosen up those joints and muscles. Now I have to be utter careful when asking for a canter depart; anything more than a brush with my heel produces a yeehaa, and buck buck buck, before he jumps forward into a beautiful canter. Forget about spurs if I plan to remain in the saddle. And this was one lazy pony only a year ago, whom I couldn't get a freaking canter to save our lives. grrr.

Oh, I don't actually use my legs for canter departs anymore. A slight hold with my outside leg so he stays straight maybe, ask him to lift inside shoulder, maybe. But using anything besides my seat to ask for the actual transition = BUCK. He does use himself better and canter more nicely after a good buck, because it seems to get his adrenaline going. I refer to it as getting him above my leg...


As for collection, since its always asking for more power and more strenght, don't forget about muscle soreness and the horse becoming tired a bit more easily. They are big, muscled up to do the job but still, it is new and it needs time for them to adjust and be able to stay collected for a longer period of time. Massage is your friend! :D

Oh, massage and chiro for him. He injured himself in turnout last year causing tons of misalignment, and the collection appears to be helping a ton for building strength across his loins to support SI area issues from that injury. (In fact - in the last two weeks, he suddenly looks like he has a great warmblood back instead of TB back, which thrills me!) But he definitely gets plenty of both, because he will keep trying until he injures himself and it's just helpful to know if I'm letting him try too hard!


I think some people make a mistake in trapping their horses a bit when they ask for more collection which leads to blow ups. Ideally, the more collected, the lighter your connection is on the mouth, but some people feel they need to pull back harder in order to collect.

I also think it's really taxing on their muscles, so some frequent walk breaks to let the lactic acid work its way out of the muscle will help keep the horse more comfortable.

And even for those who are doing it properly, as you coil the spring, sometimes no matter what you do, it just pops out sideways. LOL

I love that- it definitely popped out sideways the other day! I'm kind of sad that I can no longer put my mom on my horse, because he was great for her to work on learning to steer properly, as he would do exactly as she asked, intentional or not. But I don't trust him to stay so nice and quiet for her anymore.

I definitely don't keep him in too much - the collection is helping us have real, true contact at all, as he tends toward overly light and behind the bit naturally. I am constantly being told to try for more contact in lessons and clinics because I tend to keep it pretty light - except for the people who have known him years longer than I've had him and know that for him what we have is a lot compared to what they thought he'd ever have.

Our blowup the other day happened when I was riding on the buckle, though. :lol:

CZF
Oct. 17, 2011, 03:49 PM
Is your horse 5 years old? It seems like they grow horns as 5YO's. LOL

PS. When you're working on collection, do you let them go forward from time to time? Like collected canter, then let them go medium canter or even medium trot? I think sometimes they get frustrated and just want to GO for a second, so if you give them an outlet it can help.

Good luck!

leilatigress
Oct. 17, 2011, 04:08 PM
Oh you mean piaffes AREN'T supposed to include a buck both in and out of the transition? Launching sideways levades aren't pirouettes? I'm just thankful I'm not the one on the darlings as they do this. I just get to spectate and try very very hard for the following
1. Do not be the monster in the corner
2. Do not comment (Not hard for me I have no idea what they are trying to do.)
3. Do not laugh at the antics of the horse no matter the face of the rider.

netg
Oct. 17, 2011, 05:15 PM
Is your horse 5 years old? It seems like they grow horns as 5YO's. LOL

PS. When you're working on collection, do you let them go forward from time to time? Like collected canter, then let them go medium canter or even medium trot? I think sometimes they get frustrated and just want to GO for a second, so if you give them an outlet it can help.

Good luck!

No, and I think I'm lucky he's older as far as attitude goes! He's 9, but dressage is his third career (after racing and eventing) and so in the last year and a half we took him back to the beginning to get relaxation then learn how to use his body properly. He's about where I would want a 5 year old training-wise!

We definitely always transition in and out of different gaits - I think his mind would fry if we didn't, regardless of how bad that would be for his body, too. He generally loves the work, and most of his naughtiness seems to be exuberance rather than annoyance, at least until I try to get off. He tends to refuse to go back to the barn, and combined with his shoving my hands out of the way so he can grab the bit when I'm bridling him, I think it's a good sign I'm managing not to let him get sour.


Leila - I regularly laugh at my horse's antics! I guess it's more fair when I'm the rider? My trainer rides him around 1 hour/month total during my lessons, and I do laugh at his antics with her as well...

Valentina_32926
Oct. 17, 2011, 06:39 PM
Quite a bit of massage therapy helps since may times the TUDE is because they're working harder and it IS harder! Making them more comfortable makes them willing to give more - especially if you mix up extensions with that drated collection! :lol: