Originally Posted by blossom856
My question is, do you have to have your hands on the neck for a crest release?
Yes, technically the whole point of the crest release is to rest your hands on your horse's crest, whether or not you need that balance. Sounds like you're at the point where you are ready to master the auto release but not the point where you can always maintain contact during that time. That comes with time and practice. I think if you're going to do a crest release though, do a proper crest release. If you do an auto release, do an auto release. Nothing in between!