By Walter Zettl, Paul Schopf
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Extra info for Dressage in Harmony: From Basic to Grand Prix
The rider must take care not to ride in collection too long. There should be frequent working, medium or extended trot periods to re-establish a swinging hind leg and elastic back. When a horse gets tired in the collected work, he may try to avoid the work by becoming “stuck” and/or crooked, and may try to lean on the hand. In making the transition into medium or extended trot, the rider should not drive too hard, nor should the rider increase the driving during the extension. The collected trot should have such strength that by giving slightly with the hand and driving just a little with the seat bones, the extension is immediately there—we should just let the horse go into extended trot.
Correcting this habit once it has been acquired by the horse is very difficult. The rider must be very careful in balancing the driving and restraining aids. It will take some time and patience to win back the horse’s confidence and willingness to go over the back and into the correct contact in the walk. Again, work in the shoulder-in or haunchesin, which encourages the hind leg to step under, will be of help in this process. 2 The Trot In the trot the two diagonal pairs of legs move alternately forward and land as pairs.
This exercise collects, engages and supples the horse in good preparation for an extension. 6 Collected Trot The collected trot has very special characteristics: the elevation of the steps, the increased flexion in the joints of the haunches (hip, stifle, hock and ankle) and the lowering of the haunches. The haunches take on more of the horse’s weight, and the forehand is lightened, which results in the elevation of the forehand. The degree of elevation of the forehand corresponds to the degree of flexion of the hindquarter joints.