The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:33 pm
Posts: 7
I'm struggling to find the best way to achieve collection without a bridle, when I rode in a bit I always assumed that it was me being awesome that made the horses collect but turns out you take my half halt give and take on the inside rein abilitys and I am totally stumped, its odd how levelling it is to work with horses when you can no longer force them. A while ago i work with a horse who absolutly despised any sort of contact so i just rode on a long rein and used seat aids(not quite brave enough to get rid of my safety net completely). I achieved a small amount of collection with him by asking for movements which require colection like 10 meter circles and shoulder-in but I've since been told doing these excersises without first establishing collection can be damging to the horse so im pretty much stumped. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
Most people find that the way to natural collection happens the easiest by playing the games that are in the ground work section. Once the horse learns how to collect he is then given the choice to collect or not when under saddle, moving in and out of collection as is comfortable rather than putting him in a frame. For riding I think riding with a very loose rein is a great way to start. If you are concerned about riding the horse without collection just ride for very short periods of time. :)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:45 pm
Posts: 788
hi there. this is something that i am working a little on at the moment. i am finding that teaching it from the ground is best. it is fun too, because you can see her trying so hard for you. here is a topic that has some good ideas in it 4: Collection vs Flexing the poll (ramener)
, but it takes a while. i found that i tried to do this activity first and nothing happend. so i played games a while and got Danni interested in what i was doing. you really need them to want to play back.

Now that i have her very interested and trusting me, she is picking it up well i think. :love: :love: :love: hope this is of help :love: :love:

just keep swimming, quote from nemo!:)
love jessy

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:33 pm
Posts: 7
sounds like a good plan they always seem to show the best collection when they're playing. Thanks for the reply i think Im still seperating ground work and ridden work too much in my head.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:01 am 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
not quite brave enough to get rid of my safety net completely

What exactly is safety in a horse any way?
Is it safe to be on a horse if you trust him not without reins?
Think about that one ;)

And for the question I get e-mails over a millions times a day:


I'll try to finish as soon as possible. :)


PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:47 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Grantville, PA
You can still half halt without reins. the aids for halting have been posted numerous times, so if you learn that and ask the horse to go, lets say, trot/walk/trot, eventually it is trot/almost walk/trot and finally, trot/collect a little please/ and-by-the-way-keep-trotting.

Even at the walk, things like turn on the haunches, are perfectly safe yet build collection.

Light hill work builds muscle. Trotting through grass almost always encourages a stretching position while the legs lift more than on plain old footing.

Learning to put the relationship first.

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