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Nick Wagman and De Libris May 28th – Working on Canter Collection

Hi Everyone,

Well it is May 28th and the last training video, that was taken on May 24th, showed some continued problems in teaching De Libris the collected canter.  He looks pretty good on the rail or a 20 meter circle but when you take him on the diagnol he wants to press up in his neck and drop the contact.  That was very apparent in the changes on the diagonal.

Nick and I spoke about it and worked on keeping him more round and through in the canter.   However, I was saying that he was running through my half halt and not staying with me.  So, we decided to put Nick on him to feel him and bring him to the next level of training.  What I love about this training it is very methodical.  Here are the steps since that we worked on.

The first weeks with Nick were just getting De Libris forward – hotter off the leg. Only then could we work on the contact with throughness.  Then the next step, once he was honest and forward into the contact, was to work on the collection.  When we introduced collection he dropped the contact again by spitting out the bit or pressing up with his neck.  With that we worked on finding the bit (I have that video of that lesson and I will need to put that up in the next day or two.)  Just as a side note if a horses mouth is open he has dropped the contact even though he may be round.  The horses mouth must be quite and closed around the bit.  Only then do you have true contact and can work on the throughness from the tail to the poll.  We are now asking him to be even more collected with being nice in the contact and through the neck.  The rider needs to be able to place the neck were ever he wants it without the horse dropping the contact.  In addition, the rider can not carry the horse.  He must start to learn to carry himself after he gets the idea of collection.

This video shows Nick working on that next phase.  That next phase is to get him more collected without pressing up and without dropping the contact.  In this video you will  see that Nick uses his inside rein to bend DL if he tries to press up against the contact.   Nick comes low with his hand to make certain that DL is not allowed to press up.  In addition, DL needs to say forward into the collection but not running.  If DL decides to run away from the collection Nick’s correction is a halt, where he waits for DL to be quiet in the mouth.  If DL wants to come above the bit Nick lowers the rein to keep him coming through the neck.  In some parts of the tape, you will see DL curling behind the vertical.  This is another evasion that horses can come up with.  In those moments, Nick holds on to the contact telling him that even if he is behind the bit the contact on the rein will not go away.  Only with contact can you have throughness and only with throughness can you honestly work a horse from tail to poll.

In addition, to this continued work, Nick upped the game on DL.  He is challenging him in a smaller and smaller trot.  But in this smaller trot, DL most hold onto the contact, come round through his neck, not run, not get behind the leg, and not curl.  No small task!  When DL felt good the next phase is to find places to let go of the rein.  He needs to be able to carry himself.  Only then will he move toward being and FEI horse.  He can not be carried by the rider.  But remember when you give the rein the horse must be round, forward on the leg, collected, not running, and honest in the contact.  You can see that DL is struggling with this phase of the training but a horse doesn’t magically become an FEI horse. It needs to be trained.  What is so great about this training is DL is very weak in the canter and you can see through time he is learning to trust his ability to carry himself on his haunches.  I really believe that we will see a very big difference in him over the next week and a half.  Unfortunately that is all the time I have left here in California.

I am excited as many of you are to see his training for the next week and a half!  I should be able to put up at least 3 more videos in the next week.  Until next time!  Yaz Mane Imports.

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