the_lost_quixotesThe Art of Collecting the Riding Horse

This video features Paul Belasik author of several excellent books on classical dressage.  In this video Paul puts collection into historical perspective.  He talks about the fact that the old masters spoke about the horse putting more weight onto the haunches.  And that in the old days the ultimate in collection would be the levade (note the picture on the cover image) and piaffe should be leading to that test.  Today’s riders, seen mainly in competition, do not seem to have the same view of collection.  In fact, some studies have shown that modern horses in piaffe do not have their weight distributed more over the hindquarters.  He asked, were the old masters wrong?

To put it to his own test, Paul arranged to take a horse trained to levade to the McPhail Center, the renowned bio-mechanical laboratory for sport horses at Michigan State University, where they could measure the forces in the levade.  The good news is the old masters were in fact correct.  The weight is shifted to the hindquarters.

This isn’t really a how-to video but he does demonstrate the various movements which are used to develop collection.  He also has a lengthy segment in which he interviews a expert in wild horse behavior who has studied the horses of Assategue Island National Park.  Lots of fascinating observations of horses in nature.

All in all I give the video a thumbs up!  Very enjoyable.