This is great, thanks everyone for the excellent descriptions of the feel of collection! Now I have a better idea of what I'm after from my boy.
On the color/breed discrimination in the ring, at the tiny local shows I unfortunately run into things like that a lot. My grandmother says that she once walked past the judge at a show to get to the food cart, and overheard her say that she hated black horses and hated it when she had to place them. I didn't hear it personally, I don't know, and like all overhearings, it was most likely taken out of context. I also see that if the horse's name on the entry "sounds registered," that horse often places, even if outridden by a horse with only a barn name given. This I have witnessed. One "show name" (and grey in a "sea of bays" to boot) horse cantered on the wrong lead for the entire right lead segment of a class, rider never tried to correct it, that I could see, and that team was placed first, before mixed breeds and unregistered horses that performed with similar finesse, on the correct leads and diagonals.
Misfit made excellent points, very well said. I wish some of my tiny, local show judges would read that.
A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown