The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Bridle~less Collection
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:59 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:01 am
Posts: 33
Location: Australia
I would like to know how others achieve bridle~less or tackless collection

Many believe the unachievable is an impossibility. but as we all know, thats false!

I have followed and learnt so much from Josepha and her ideas and techniques are so gentle and respectful of the horse

I started with something as simple as horse learning to back up from my own hips (on the ground)

And then ramener and shoulder in

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6231
Location: Dresden, Germany
You will find lots of info about bridleless collection in the Links to threads under Collection. :f:

Concerning the question of how to achieve it, you could read the threads in the groundwork exercises subforum. For example in the very first announcemment - AND groundwork: the levels - this is a major point. ;)

If you have more specific questions, we can discuss them here or I can direct you to a thread where they have been discussed.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:42 am
Posts: 2147
Location: Vienna, Austria
In my opinion, bridles or any tack for that matter (even the human intervention per se), cannot cause collection. On the contrary, it has great potential to prevent it.

I'd like to give an example from the human world. On my daily way to work, I have to take the metro. It can sometimes be quite a shaky ride and people often stumble, when they don't hold on to something.
Now, if you try to stand without holding on, you'll see that it's actually quite easy to do - if you take on a somewhat collected stance. You'll just need bended knees, more tension in your body and a little room to balance.
So why is no-one standing 'collected' in the metro (except children sometimes)? It is, in my opinion, a combination of factors:
First, there's an environmental factor: it is seemingly easier to hold on instead of engaging the whole body and if there is something to hold on to, I take it. There is no motivation to do otherwise.
Second, there's a physical factor: office work, or just walking on the street is not enough to activate my muscles in a way that I feel good about physical work.
And last but not least, there is a psychological factor: it might look rather strange if I tried to balance in the metro. It is far more common and normal, if I press myself in a corner and hold on tight.

This example might sound far fetched, but for me it is exactly what we deal with in horse training.
Horses are often not in the best physical shape so that collection would come easy.
The environment (or tack) is often not helpful as well, as it restricts free movement and doesn't puts the horse in a mood for natural collection.
And finally but most importantly, the horse needs a motivation to move collected. In nature that can be fighting a rival, showing off, or playing. Everything else (fear, insecurity, feeling pressurised, boredom, ...) blocks the free collection and works against it.

In my experience with Mucki and Lily, I found that they actively WANT to collect. IF the conditions are right.
Then even the heavy load of a rider is not necessarily hindering the collection, but on the contrary a challenge and collection comes logical to them, because they need the tension to carry that load.

So to come to an end, I'd like to say that it's not really the collection that needs to be trained or worked on, it's all about the preconditions. Then, collection comes naturally... :f:


The horse owes us nothing.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:51 am
Posts: 693
Location: Germany
I just saw it now.
Volker, thats a very interesting post, thanks.
I like the comparison with the metro. When I was still using them (something like 20 years ago...), I did the same trials...

My horse also likes to collect. But only if his temper is correspondingly. As I only work without any tack, I have the impression, that too much direct physical influence, from me could easily disturb the beauty and this balance and his pride. I can t force this behaviour, but I can provoke it (if he is in the right mood), by behaving in a similar way, by kind of collecting myself... :alien: I have to take care though, not to do too much and not to do too few. A tightrope walk.

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