Collection in Lightness

King, a Quarter Horse in collected trot.

Collection in lightness is when the horse’s weight is balanced on his forehand and haunches equally.  The back is supple and the hindquarters engaged.  It also means that the horse has a relaxed lower jaw with no resistance.  He must have impulsion with complete submission. Lightness is an attitude as much as it is a physical ability.  To be light physically requires strength and balance through training whereas to be light mentally is more a result of the relationship established during the training.  True classical training does not use forceful methods as it will destroy the relationship with the horse hindering its ability to truly be light.  The horse must be encouraged not forced to accept the demands we make on him.  Not until you acquire lightness in collection should you proceed forward to high school movements.  The aim of classical dressage is not for one horse to perform all of the movements in a spectacular way but for the horse to perform effortlessly without contraction.

Noah, a Hanoverian in piaffe.


Granito, an Andalusian performing the passage.

Granito, an Andalusian stallion performing the Spanish Walk

Granito, an Andalusian stallion performing spanish Walk