And I want to tack this video on as a good overall demonstration of what collection is and how you attain it. One of the biggest misconceptions I see involved with those gadgets I talked about is that they play a role in collection. This is because people don’t actually understand what it is to collect. They think if a horse has slowed down, or has its head tucked in (both things which can be accomplished with gadgets), they’ve accomplished collection, which allows them to ride on a more advanced level. Not true!
This video has Will Faerber explain all the main points: the lifting of the back, the connection of the back and front end, how an overbent head and neck hollows the back, how collection allows a horse’s body to use its ‘shock absorbers’, how the horse needs to actively seek the bit, how the horse must first stretch its head down before it can put its head up, the importance of a light seat, and most importantly how, no matter what, it requires at least a year to develop a topline which allows the horse to collect, and longer to teach the horse how to utilize that topline properly.
This is why you cannot use a special gadget to ‘collect’ your horse in a matter of hours or days and then go merrily on to more exciting things.