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How do I get my horse to soften in the contact. And keep my connection without holding the reins tight?

How do I get my horse to soften in the contact. And keep my connection without holding the reins tight?
First establish the half halt using all the correct aids, then leg, leg and more leg.
Sit heavy on your butt and drive the horse into the bit.
My horse is really rigid and I find the best way is to do circles, bend her and do lateral movements
Must establish true forward momentum. I always start in a 20 meter circle and push him forward with my seat and legs until his back is up and head is down. Then I slowly start using my reins and asking for a bend.
Bounce doubles and try draw reins but be very soft with your hand and use your seat
I found out from having to start from square one with my horse that it really helps to work on basics. Straightness and transitions especially! My horse likes to lean on my right leg and making a conscious effort to keep him straight and in between my legs has made a world of different. I’ve noticed this also works on other horses. Make sure they are not on their forehand when going around, you want to feel them useing their hind end to push them forward. Some horses will just soften from that, no fiddling with the reins needed, but if their head is still up and their back is still hollow, hold your outside rein firmly, and touch and soften with your inside. You should feel them start to lift their back and move into the contact.
the impulsion l must come from behind. keep the pressure of your leg constant and your hands light. receive all the energy of movement in your hands. And the horse will get his balance.
Loosten inside rain and sponge with ur forefinger on the outside rain, this will make the horse carry themselves properly without leaning on the bit
Start on from the ground. Making it easier for your horse. Your horse don't need to balance you as well and can focus more on the contact.
On the ground work on flexing your horses head to each side until they give to the pressure then do it under saddle. It will teach them to soften
I would try loosing the reins a bit more to get your horse to relax and slowly gather your reins
Lots of transitions and get him pushing into the outside rein. Inside leg to outside rein.
Try applying more pressure and give him more rein and work him from behind. Make sure he is fit enough to do what you expect of him xx
Half halt them but do it every 10 seconds on a circle, make sure to praise them and get them as long in the reign as possible
Try a circle and leg yield them to the rail when you cut across the part of your circle that’s across the arena. Also doing figure 8 and serpentines to change the bend is really good for them. Bend their ribcage
What helped my horse a lot was riding a circle in the middle of the arena and made this smaller and bigger and then try to get your horse a little bit more collected when you ride the circle smaller. Try to do this with your seat and have a soft hand. When you ride the circle bigger again push the horse forward with the leg. Try to do as less as possible with your hand and bend the horse around your leg and keep the horse relaxed. Then you can start to ride transitions between trot and walk. Make sure you give the horse the rein when he needs it let him stretch a lot in all gaits. Another thing you can try is shoulder in on the circle, just about 3-4 meters and then ride forward out of the shoulder in and give the horse a little bit of the rein. I hope this can help you.
Hold light contact on your outside rein, while giving and taking softly on your inside rein. This will help them get into a frame as well as softening up. If your horses head goes to low, pick your hands straight up.
Use lots of leg and gradually let go of the reins
Legs before hands every time.
I sometimes find if horse is evading that giving something to think about helps. Lots of change of direction, circles, serpentine etc... get them focused... it's often easier in trot initially as well
You can use your body language to ask your horse to soften the contact