The aim of the collection is:
• To further develop and improve the equilibrium of the horse, which has been more or less displaced by the additional weight of the rider.
• 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.
• To add to the “ease and carriage” of the horse thereby making 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 hindlegs 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, characterized by “ease and carriage” as well as a lively impulsion originating from the activity 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 Mid pull, which is the highest point, with the nose slightly in front of the vertical. At the moment the rider 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.

The more intensive bending of the hind legs leads to the centre of gravity being shifted further backwards. This results in the increased lightness of the forehand.
Through the systematic development of collection, the horse will show enhanced quality of the natural paces. Through the increased engagement of the hind legs and lightness of the shoulders the paces will appear lighter and freer. Through the development of impulsion, they will show more cadence. It is only through true development of collection that breathtaking extensions can be produced correctly.
The collected horse gives the impression of moving uphill.
The steps and strides become shorter but activity/impulsion is sustained and makes the movement appear more cadenced.
“From the collection you take the energy into extension; from extension you take the impulsion into collection.”

The degree of collection required in the tests at each level is that which enables the horse to perform the required movements with ease and fluency. Therefore insufficient collection results in a loss of submission because the horse is not able to perform the movement with ease and fluency.

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