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Old 12-29-2013, 11:46 PM   #11
Jimmy
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I wanted to add that I do not drive the horse into a fixed hand. If I do, it is only for a brief moment.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:05 AM   #12
Baquero
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That's a nice looking set of pictures Jimmy. What type of horse is that? Looks like maybe an Andalusian cross Quarter horse? Thoroughbred?

Just wanted to reiterate that I don't believe in driving the horse into a fixed hand either. The term "collection" has a lot of connotation to it. In european equitation there are multiple terms they use for what we refer to as collection. In any respect the neck needs to become rounded at and near the poll, so that the back can become more engaged and rounded, and the hind end can reach up underneath the horse.

I look at it similar to a balance point when you are working a cow. The rider needs to be centered and balanced so he can be out of the way of the horse. The horse has to learn how to shift his balance from front to back, from left to right and be in an athletic position that allows him to maneuver this way with the least resistance.

The picture below is of Dwight Hill on his horse Red Bird at the Californio's. Although it isn't the best picture it shows what I like for a collected walk, I like the way this horse works. You can see from the picture that this horse is really packing the bit at the walk.
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Old 12-31-2013, 02:17 PM   #13
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I read this from Benny Guitron today "It's hard to explain unless you've felt it, but the feel of a good hackamore horse is almost like having a carpenter's level on the middle of their nose. When the bubble gets in the middle, when they're just right in the hackamore, that horse has learned to carry himself in perfect balance. His body, his poll, his spine are all in equilibrium. So, when it comes time to bridle them, the good hackamore horse is already there- he knows how to carry himself without the crutch of the bridle."

He continues "With a snaffle, your direct pull goes to the horse's mouth and draws their head to their chest, with the horse breaking or yielding more at the withers than the poll. Training only with a snaffle makes for a stiffer bridle horse than one with some quality hackamore experience, because the hackamore puts slight pressure on the horse's nose and chin, and he learns to tip his nose in and break at the poll to decrease that pressure. A horse that only breaks at the withers dumps more weight on his forehand, but with a soft poll, he'll balance more naturally, move better, and tend to stay softer in the face no matter what we ask of him,"
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:15 PM   #14
Jimmy
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The horse is an Azteca.
Nice photo of Dwight Hill. Nice form, I think
Benny Guitron has forgotten more than most people will ever learn about a hackamore and making a bridle horse. Some people lately overlook him because he is a show guy, and not a buckaroo/vaquero type.
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:54 PM   #15
Mares Tales
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"Really the best way to achieve this is to teach your horse to work off of his hindquarters in as much as he can."

I quoted this sentence because it means so much. Whatever the horse is doing with it`s head/ neck/shoulders; it`s forehand, is a direct result of what is happening with the hindquarters, they are not exclusive of one another. The horse`s head and neck are in front of us and easy to see, so that is where we can more easily concentrate our attention but the forehand is not separate from the hindquarters, it is dependant upon them. Whatever is happening up front is a direct result of what the hindquarters are doing, we have to "feel" for the hindquarters and over all balance of the horse and that is a little bit more difficult.

If the horse is carrying itself low in front, I don`t do anything with my hands to raise the head, instead I feel for the hindquarters and ask for a little more engagement, this will give the forehand the support needed so that the front part of the horse (base of the neck) can come upward. Of course, we have to make sure that there are no blockages, no kinks in the hose going over the topline so, we should first make sure our horse has "let go" of any braces so that the circle of energy can be complete. so the horse can step "through".

It is possible that a rider can soften the jaw and raise the poll with their hands but the base of the neck may drop, this is false collection and then the hindquarters can not come under for support. So I will repeat Baqueros important quote.... ""Really the best way to achieve this is to teach your horse to work off of his hindquarters in as much as he can."

We need to RIDE the WHOLE horse and see the horse as one unit, not in segments.

A comment about the pictures of the Azteca:

Some horses have an advantage to carrying themselves easier under a rider because of their already uphill conformation, this horse being one of them. I always choose my personal horses with this in mind. There is a saying, "What the horse possesses naturally, the rider does not have to put in."

Good discussion.
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