The Collection

The aim of the collection of the Horse is:
a) To further develop and improve the balance and equilibrium of the Horse, which has been more or less displaced by the additional weight of the Athlete.
b) To develop and increase the Horse’s ability to lower and engage its hindquarters for the benefit of the lightness and mobility of its forehand.
c) To add to the “ease and carriage” of the Horse and to make it more pleasurable to ride.
Collection is developed through the use of half-halts and the use of lateral movements shoulder-in, travers, renvers and half pass.
Collection is improved and achieved by the use of the seat and legs and containing hands to engage the hind legs. The joints bend and are supple so that the hind legs can step forward under the Horse’s body.
However, the hind legs should not be engaged so far forward under the Horse, that they shorten the base of support excessively, thereby impeding the movement. In such a case, the line of the back would be lengthened and raised too much in relation to the supporting base of the legs, the stability would be impaired and the Horse would have difficulty in finding a harmonious and correct balance.
On the other hand, a Horse with an over-long base of support, which is unable or unwilling to engage its hind legs forward under its body, will never achieve acceptable collection, characterised by “ease and carriage” as well as a lively impulsion originating from the activity of the hindquarters.
The position of the head and neck of a Horse at the collected paces is naturally dependent on the stage of training and, to some degree, on its conformation. It is distinguished by the neck being raised without restraint, forming a harmonious curve from the withers to the poll, which is the highest point, with the nose slightly in front of the vertical. At the moment the Athlete applies his aids to obtain a momentary and passing collecting effect, the head may become more or less vertical. The arch of the neck is directly related to the degree of collection.

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