It was a guy who loved dressage who taught me the concept of giving a horse rein when he is scared, instead of trying to hold him tight.
This is a completely different subject entirely. While I and many others collect our horses in the show ring, we certainly wouldn't ask for it out on the trail during a spook... It's fairly common sense that taking hold of the reins on a spooking or bolting horse will only make the situation worse. Collection, on the other hand, is used during performance only on a horse who is calm and working. Is it used on the trail at times? Absolutely, if asked and the horse is trained. But a lot of people who show understand the importance of taking their show horses out on the trail and just letting them be horses.
Some of us have merely said it is not needed for a good horse.
I think a lot of the outrage that is sparked on this forum regarding this subject is centered around this whole debatable idea of a "good" horse... A horse who is used for recreational riding is no less of a good horse than a level three dressage prospect so long as the training is there. A willingness to be obedient and demonstrating the thinking side of the brain (instead of reactive) is what defines a "good" horse to me - no matter what the discipline.
Horses can be trained to do a multitude of different jobs. If the horse's job is to be a Dressage horse, then he must be able to collect and be willing about it. If his job is to be a cutting horse, he must demonstrate a passion for chasing cows and the ability to sit his butt down and cut when asked. If his job is to be a hunt horse, he must be willing to travel in relaxed yet forward gaits and put his head in a pretty position when cued. If his job is to be a recreational trail horse, then he must demonstrate the ability to be sane and stable for his rider who depends on him for safety.
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what the heck his job is, as long as he is performing it to the best of his ability. Collection is not required for all disciplines or horseback activities... And collection should certainly NEVER be used to judge whether or not a horse is a "good" horse - unless of course it is required to do his job. That's just absurd.
NOTE: There are so many pages to this thread and I admit I haven't read all of them, so I do apologize if I've missed some things.