The horseman wants the horse to respond to the least communication (and is sensitive himself to the lightest communication from the horse). Thus the horseman starts the communication with what Buck calls "the good deal", and what Parelli calls "phase one". When he starts this, the horse has no clue. None. So he does the next thing until it is effective. The horse may try one or two things before the right thing and the horseman does not get upset by this but appreciates the try. The volume may remain the same but persistent, or the volume may go up albeit without rancor or upset, but the horseman hangs in there until effectiveness is achieved. *And then releases.* This means stop. And then starts again, with the lightest touch. And the horse learns.
The human starts with the lightest touch, the horse has no clue, and so does the next thing until it is effective. All too often the human just keeps asking, even though the horse is doing it; this is nagging. When the human does deign to stop and to start again, the human often starts with whatever was effective, not with the lightest touch. The horse learns from this too.
This is what I was thinking about today.
And riding, I noticed how difficult it was to ask for a turn first with my legs and only reinforce it with my hands.
There is nothing wrong with contact but when that is the only way the horse knows to turn left, well, there probably IS something wrong with that. Or at least missing from that. If I'm on the ground and the horse is running over me and I have to get big and do jumping jacks to keep from getting killed, there is definitely something wrong with that.
But that lightness? There is something right about that. That's something to chase. And that is horsemanship.