Can I collect my gaited horse?
For years there has been debate in the gaited horse world regarding the right way to train and ride a gaited horse. In one camp are trainers who insist that gaited horses can’t be trained to gait in a collected frame. These people believe the horse will lose its gait if it is not permitted to go with either an introverted/hollow–or at best, level–topline. In the other camp are a few who believe that gaited horses not only can, but should, be taught how to travel in a well-balanced, collected frame. We take the second view.
Collection involves riding with impulsion from the horse’s loins which travels through its ‘transmission’ system (back/shoulders/neck/poll), to the bridle–where it is ‘collected into,’ and controlled by, the rider’s hand. A horse that is ridden in true collection has good engagement of its hocks and loins, has a slight lifting through its back, is relaxed and rounded through the neck and poll, and carries itself and the rider in a well balanced form.
This is the ideal way to train all riding horses, though it is certainly not feasible to ride all horses in this frame at all times. A horse cannot be truly collected, for example, when it is being ridden at.....read more....