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The Importance of Collection in Horse Training


Welcome to Tim Anderson Horse Training! In today’s blog post, we’re going to discuss the concept of collection, a term that often mystifies many people. We’ll break it down and explain why collection is a crucial element in horse training. So let’s dive in and unravel the mystery of collection!

Understanding Collection:

Collection is often misunderstood, but it’s actually quite simple. At its core, collection refers to the horse’s ability to engage its hindquarters, lift its back, and carry itself in a balanced and rounded manner. It involves the horse shifting its weight from the front end to the back end, which results in a stronger and more efficient way of moving.

Why Collection Matters:

To illustrate the importance of collection, let’s consider an example. Imagine you’re riding a horse, and you notice its nose is tipped out, indicating an inverted back. This hollowed-out back is weaker compared to a back that curves upward. Collection helps strengthen the horse’s back muscles, enabling it to perform various maneuvers with ease.

By achieving collection, the horse’s body is better positioned to stop on its hind end and carry the rider’s weight more effectively. Moreover, a collected horse experiences fewer injuries in the front end since it distributes more weight to the back end, where the muscles are stronger and more capable of supporting the load.

Benefits of Collection:

Proper collection has numerous benefits. It improves the horse’s overall balance and enhances its ability to perform various tasks, whether in competitive events or during leisurely trail rides. When a horse carries itself correctly and efficiently, it experiences fewer back problems, even during simple activities like trail riding. Collection also helps prevent potential issues like kissing spine disease, although more research is needed to establish a definitive connection.

Starting Collection:

Now that we understand the significance of collection, let’s briefly touch upon how to initiate it in a horse. When starting collection with a young or inexperienced horse, it’s essential to focus on building the necessary muscles gradually. Instead of applying excessive pressure or using both reins simultaneously, it’s better to start with one-sided collection.

To begin, take hold of the horse’s face with the inside rein (the one on the side you want to bend), and lift that rein gently. Simultaneously, use the spur on the same side to push and lift the horse’s shoulder, shifting its weight to the hind end. This action engages the hip and encourages the horse to round its back. Remember, the use of spurs is optional, but they can provide assistance in achieving the desired response without excessive leg pressure.

As the horse is strengthening the muscles on the inside start adding the same rein and leg contact to the outside rein and leg. As the horse developes the muscles on both sides the back will lift and round and the horse will shift its weight to the back end and carry itself more correctly.


Collection is a fundamental aspect of horse training that should not be overlooked. It involves teaching the horse to engage its hindquarters, lift its back, and carry itself in a balanced and rounded manner. By achieving collection, the horse strengthens its back muscles, distributes weight more effectively, and becomes better equipped to perform various tasks with ease.

Starting collection early with a young horse helps build the necessary muscles and minimize the risk of back problems. It’s important to approach collection gradually and avoid overwhelming the horse. Remember, collection is not just about physical strength; it’s about achieving a harmonious partnership between horse and rider.


We hope this article has shed light on the concept of collection and highlighted its significance in horse training. In the video, Collection Explained, Tim is working a horse for collection and explaining what he is doing as it goes.  You can also get more horse training resources at Until next time, thank you for reading!

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