When it comes to getting your horse onto the bit and "collected", imagine you are pushing your horse into your hands from behind. For my mare, I put on some calf pressure and don't give her any more rein than what I started with when I asked her to trot: she will then lift her head (from the base of her neck) and tip it over at the poll, so her ears are forward. I take up the reins to maintain consistent contact throughout the motion. In her case, I know she's collected NOT by the fact that she lifts and tips, but because her fancy trot smooths right out and I can sit it easily without jarring either of us :) I mean, that's not the only reason I know (I can literally feel her rounding)... but you get the point :)
PS: She learned better from a sitting trot, I think using a driving seat helped her understand the "go forward enthusiastically" part of collection, haha. It sounds like you've got a good start!!!
Last edited by leonalee; 09-22-2010 at 12:14 PM.