Originally Posted by tinyliny
This is correct! It's maybe a start that you are feeling the difference between passive contact and active contact. But it isn't collection, per se. And it can become a bit of a trap where you end up pulling all the forward energy out of the horse , deadening his gait and teaching him to evade the bit by coming behind it. Still, you felt something different and it's cool that you are learning to manipulate the rein more purposefully. Just don't get stuck there and forget that everything depends on the hind end and what's going forward from there.
Aw, I was all proud of myself, and now I'm a little sad. I definitely felt a big difference, the way he carried himself changed completely. He is a Western and English horse, I usually ride Western on him since it is what I know. So when I ride English I am always learning something new. The trainer taught me to keep the inside rein tight to control speed, and the outside rein slightly looser and that was to control direction. I also leg rein, and I am always using my legs. He ALWAYS avoids the bit, stretching his head to his knees, and yanking hard on my hands. But when I rock my hands, the little wiggle thing, he drops his head and tucks it. Then he really uses his hind end to almost 'push' himself, instead of his front end to 'pull' himself, if that makes any sense. This is all extremely new to me, so I may have done it wrong, but it sure felt different. And both trainers agreed it look awesome. Either way, it is a small accomplishment for me and I will continue to grow and learn.