Collection 300x168 Collection A stallion that meets another horse will have a beautiful appearance.

When a strange horse comes upon the scene, or he sees himself in the mirror the attention of the stallion is naturally aroused and his body prepares for action.

He raises his head, arches his back, and brings his legs more under his body.

This makes it easier for him to make sudden changes of direction.

Horse and Mirror2 300x168 Collection Natural Levade 300x168 Collection

In this ‘natural’ collection the horse’s neck is lengthened……. and this is exactly what we are looking for in straightness training.

Through straightness training, the horse learns to collect itself when requested to do so by the rider.

Bespiegelingen 150x150 Collection This ‘artificial’ collection is not about making the horse shorter in the neck, the neck should always be longer rather than shorter, and arch from withers to poll, with the nose slightly in front of the vertical.

The artificial movements in straightness training are derived from the natural movements and they are meant to perfect Mother Nature.



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  1.   Aanna Barardon 23 Apr 2012 at 09:35

    Marijke, thankyou for making the distinction between natural and artifical collection, however when you say the neck should always be longer people might mis understand and just think that when the horse to drops his neck and head towards the floor this is what you mean when it isn’t. Rather I think the horse raises his head from the poll upwards and in natural collection it is as though the horse has grown taller by 3 or 4 inches.

    I like it that you say the nose should be infront of the vertical, but again explain more of why, i.e. the horse behind the vertical is being overbent and on the fore hand.

    I recently looked at a catologue for a national feed company and unfortunately every horse in it was being ridden in an over bent fashion. I think ‘fashion’ is a good word to use as people think erroneously that if a horse is head and neck are bent then it is in a correct frame. Most people have never ridden a horse who is in natural collection so have no concept of what it feels or should look like. Your photos illustrate it beautifully.

    A feel for the horses balance as it moves from forehand to rear is a difficult thing to teach and I am gald that you are teaching the essence of the movement. For me it is like the a pendulum that moves between the front and the back of a horses. For me I feel when it is the correct position and a horse can balance and lift himself in a levade for instant. Lift is a good word to use as well as a horse is able to lift himself naturally when he is in his natural collected state.

    Thankyou for sharing your knowledge, Aanna , UK

  2.   Elinon 24 Nov 2012 at 19:15

    Beautiful! But how can I get the horse into this natural collection when I ride him?

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