A little bit of background, Ricci is almost 18, was trained WP, shown in Paint shows with that disgusting kicking-yourself-in-the-chin low head placement, and for the last two years or so, I've been working with her on dressage work and using herself correctly and we've come leaps and bounds from the terrible ride she was when I first got on. =D
Lately, I've been doing a lot of work on getting her to bend without any weight on the inside rein, and we're very successful at the walk, moderately successful at the trot, and... decent at the canter, lol.
Now here is where the "problem" comes in. I will take my inside hand and pat her on the neck after an amazing circle, or corner, or transition, or whatever is was that she did amazingly, or I'll try to give her a little bit of slack to see how much she is depending on the contact, and she follows the bit. It's not necessarily leaning on my hands, more that she is stretching and reaching into the contact. Which is good, don't get me wrong. I can give her rein and she will forever stretch into it without losing a "frame" for lack of a better word. I don't, because the lower she stretches, the heavier she gets, and we aren't that good yet, lol.
I'm just... confused, I guess. Is this good? Should she be following a simple thing like that or does it mean that she is too dependent on the reins? I can always praise her vocally, and I do, I'm always cooing at her over one thing or another when I'm riding, so I don't have to try to give her a pat. She does get moderately confused though, because she follows the contact and bends to the outside, and she can't figure out why I'm asking her to turn into a wall. O_O
Anywho, sorry for the novel. Any input would be appreciated, and kudos if you read the whole thing!