Collected forward - while going forward, I'd put pressure on the reins to get the horse to break at the poll and give his face to me, while putting a little pressure on his sides to keep him moving forward into the bit. When he gives me his face while moving forward, I give him a release, and gradually ask for more as time goes on.
Soft face/ giving to pressure while still - pressure on reins, when horse gives face, release. If horse backs, keep pressure on reins until he stops, and just gives at a standstill.
Backing - if I was in forward motion, I'd release leg pressure to get horse to stop, take up slack/put pressure on reins. Bump sides to get speed/ impulsion ( can the word impulsion be used for backwards movement?)
I understand all of these concepts apart from each other, and how they would work. However, when I put them all together, my brain wires get crossed and then my brain short circuits. They all seem to use the same pressure to do different things. Rein pressure, leg pressure (except just giving at the poll). And I know that if I don't quite get it, I probably can't ask it from my horse. What am I missing here? And does this even make sense?
Or do I understand it, and just not understand that I understand it (yep... I just said that)?