I have a few questions. I've been reading up on bits and rein contact and it occurred to me that I am extremely guilty of depending too much on the reins for steering and transitions. While I do use my legs and seat for steering, I've always been taught to use the reins for transitions and I doubt I'd be able to get very far trying to steer effectively without reins. Also, I saw some videos of people riding bridleless and I wondered... If I were to get on a horse without a bridle, would I be able to control him? The answer is an obvious no.
I'd like to get to a point where all steering and transitions work is dominated by my seat and legs but I'm not sure how to get there. For one, I'll be honest; I have no idea how to transition between gaits using my seat. Also, while I do use my legs and hips to steer, if I were to let go of the reins I'd be pretty much helpless. So here are my questions:
1. How does the seat affect pace and how can I do downward transitions using my seat?
2. How do I improve my steering while depending less on the reins?
3. How should rein contact be used in a more effective way (yet not be depended on)?