Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Recommendations Please

In other words, do my research for me.

I'm still very much a beginner rider. I may have balance, but I don't understand a lot of what is discussed in articles, blogs, etc.  For this post, I'll just ask about collection and the top line.

I have yet to come across an article or video explaining what a top line is. It's referenced a lot...this horse has no top line. Look how the top line filled out. And so on.  What exactly are you looking at or for when describing a top line?  Are there any YouTube videos, or before/after pictures with descriptions showing the change in top line after it's developed?

The same goes for collection. I can't spot a collected horse or tell you if he's stepping under himself.  About the only thing I know about collection is to look for the back hoof stepping in the same spot as the front and the head placement at or near vertical.

So, do you know of any YouTube vidoes or articles with pictures that will help me to better understand collection and top line?


  1. I found an article and a video that were great when I asked this very same question & linked them both here: http://beljoeor.blogspot.com/2014/01/is-your-horse-using-his-back.html

  2. Honestly, I read a lot of posts where I don't see the difference either :) Amanda's links above are helpful! Somewhere there is a video of Carl Hester/Charlotte Dujardin showing one of their horse's regular 'in the field' paces vs what they strive for when riding. I will see if I can find it for you :)

  3. I dunno any specific articles (tho I recommend just googling around until you find something that makes sense) but agree that they aren't the clearest ideas at first. My understanding of top line is that you want the horse to develop muscle along their entire spine - from poll to tail - in a connected and even fashion. If a horse is moving out correctly (i.e. pushing from his hind end and not dragging himself along on the forehand) he will have to lift his back - creating muscle across his loins and in the dip behind his shoulders. He will also be building muscle along the top of his neck - including the dip right in front of his wither - rather than bracing on that big muscle under his neck.


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