Okay I am going to vent about something that has long been an irritant to my normal cool, calm demeanour.
I’m talking about the non-dressage horse sports understanding of collection.
Look at the video below.
This is not collection!
Warwick maybe a handy horse person, but what he calls collection is not collection. The horse in the video never uses his back and never engages his hindquarters. He never lifts the base of his neck and instead crashes on his forehand. Look at 1:42 and see how the horse lowers his forehand in the back up. It’s wrong, wrong, wrong…
Now compare this video of Klimke riding Alherich
You only have to watch a couple of minutes of the video to appreciate what dressage calls “collection” and what reiners call “collection.”
I appreciate that Alherich is much further along in his education and I appreciate difference in the breed of horses, but you can still tell there is a huge difference in what Klimke tries to achieve in collection and what Warwick is trying to achieve. The understanding of the two men about this important subject is worlds apart.
And it is not just reiners either that don’t get it. What about this clip of Buck Brannaman?
Buck’s horse is not collected either. He is round, but his neck is jammed between his shoulders, his back is hollow, his hindquarters drag along, the horse is crooked and he is heavy on his forehand. Bad, bad, bad.
So why do people call it collection when it is not? Are they just ignorant of what collection really is? Do they want to redefine what collection should be? Or do they not see a difference.
If reiners want to do whatever it is they do, that’s okay by me. I don’t care (the horses might, but I don’t). But they should call it something other than collection – something like “a reining frame.” To call this collection is not only wrong, but it confuses people who don’t know enough to judge for themselves. There should be no confusion about what is collection. People should not be making up their own definitions. Collection is a cascade of postural adjustments that horses make, which are clearly defined. There maybe different degrees of collection, but collection is not one thing and sometimes another thing.
People who do not study dressage and incorrectly use dressage terms like collection are in my view showing their ignorance of their own sport. I have heard reining described as dressage for cowboys. But in reality this is absolute nonsense. There is almost no similarity between what is looked for in a good dressage movement and what is looked for in a good reining movement. If cowboys want to be identified with dressage then go and study dressage. If that is of no interest to them, then don’t try to steal terms that they don’t understand and use them for their own interest. Define their own terms and teach them for what they are and not as some weak impersonation of a dressage term.
This is collection
This is not
I’ll step down from my soap box now and have a cup of tea to calm me down.