De­grees of Col­lec­tion

Dressage Today - - The Clinic -

C ol­lec­tion is in­tro­duced to the horse at Sec­ond Level, but very few horses have truly es­tab­lished col­lec­tion at that point in their ed­u­ca­tion. The Third Level horse should have true, ma­ture col­lec­tion. I loved be­ing the USEF Na­tional Young Horse Dres­sage Coach be­cause dur­ing those 4-, 5- and 6-year-old years, horses gain the “col­lege ed­u­ca­tion” that gives them the men­tal un­der­stand­ing of how to use their bod­ies to col­lect. Then they can uti­lize that tech­nique as they de­velop through the years. Horses con­tinue to de­velop the abil­ity to com­press to greater de­grees as they ma­ture be­yond their young horse years and their col­lec­tion be­comes more ad­vanced, more pur­pose­ful and more con­firmed. So, for ex­am­ple, a Grand Prix horse has much more es­tab­lished en­gage­ment and cadence than the Third Level horse as a re­flec­tion of the de­gree of col­lec­tion.

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