My horse, who stopped sweating three weeks ago, had NECK SWEAT yesterday! YIPPEEEE! (OT, but it's made me come back to reality about getting better)

I've been riding him lightly for less than a week, and I've realized that part of my problems in dressage is that I can't seem to NOT be tight.

Ironically, I get very comfortable in XC and SJ, to the point where my legs are good, but my upper body might be *too* relaxed.

I think it's about core strength (which I'm working on), but then I tighten up too much. I try to relax my legs, and my seat...but I can't engage then.

I fear my poor horse is getting frustrated as I try to engage the core but relax.

So--those of you who are excellent riders, how did you get to the point where you were in control of different body parts?