I have a 6yo thoroughbred who has never had training in dressage or hacking. I started lunging her with side reins loosely attached to build up neck muscle and to begin teaching her to collect.
She was doing alright but not great, someday's she'd be doing fine other days if I asked her to collect while I was riding she'd chuck a tantrum, throw her head and be silly.
She's had about 2-3 month break from exersize and riding as it was end of season and I was doing a course. The last month or so I've been trying to get her fit and in the right state of mind again for this year and when I ask her to collect it's as if ll that time I spent is non-exsistant