Traditional Dressage / articles

W. Museler. Riding Logic.

extract

By self-carriage we mean the apparently automatic maintenance of the position which the rider has requested the horse to assume.

The expression does not refer in any way to a particular degree of collection or a certain outer form.

A horse which is properly put to the aids, will, with progressive dressage, very soon arrive at this self-collection; it will get there all the sooner the more subtle the rider's aids and the more subtle his rein influences.

The opposite of self-collection is the horse leaning heavily on the bit.

Self-collection however is as a matter of fact, only an apparently "natural carriage" because the horse in self-collection must still be worked by the driving seat of the rider and by his passive hands. This so-called self-collection can exist only if there is complete harmony between man and mount.

Horses which are behind the bit also assume a position that could be called a certain self-collection.

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The dividing line between right and wrong is very difficult to recognize and to feel.

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As soon as the rider is no longer in a position to lengthen his horse's neck at will, his mount is behind the bit."