Staying in gait without constant pressure
Imagine going for a lovely long walk in the park with a very dear friend. You happily walk along gently holding hands (think bridle contact) and you are thinking you could easily do this for many hours. Then, your friend decides to poke you in the side every second or so. Does this spoil your enjoyment of the walk? Of course it does. If, like the horse, you are not allowed to end the walk, you will do your best to ignore the poking in the side (desensitising) but in all likelihood you will not be very happy about it! The horse doesn't mind walking, trotting or cantering - he just likes to know what is right and wants the pressure to go away. Next time we will look at how to get this message across to the horse without falling into that trap of asking for every stride.