Hmmm. I think that by the time you can give a "release as a test" it will no longer be a reward, because your horse won't need or even understand it as a reward. That is, he will by this time be comfortable and seeking the contact of the bit; so what's good about losing it?
Thanks for the response Beling
It was helpful and actually got me thinking about it differently.
The horse I am riding is not mine - he was owned by a lady at the stable I am taking lessons and when she left the country she gave her horse to them. He actually doesnt resist against the bit and seeks a contact quite well (suprisingly so when compared to the other horses I have ridden - but I guess that's because I am the only one riding him so strictly speaking he isnt really a lesson horse so doesnt have those tricks)
I guess what is confusing me is that at the beginning I felt like I had too much weight in my hands (it took me forever to actually get that connection - I had him moving forwards and tracking up - but did not provide a contact for him to reach for). Since then this has changed, but I feel like the weight I have in my hands is too different? The contact with my outside rein is supporting and more constant and the inside rein is used to soften and then give (so at times the weight in the hands are quite different) is this the case with most people???
Maybe the thing that is confusing me (as you mentioned) is that I am giving too much with the inside, will find out this week (if the sun over the weekend has dried the arena enough)