“The rider understands the horse’s needs and takes care that the horse is never placed in a situation that can lead to the horse being hurt or frightened. The horse knows this, trusts the rider, respects the rider, sees the rider as its leader and cares enough to want to please the rider.
When all these things come together, when communication between rider and horse is so refined that the aids cannot be seen, when the horse willingly holds itself in self carriage and offers soft feel, the body is soft and flowing. The rider is sitting straight up in the saddle , the horse is balanced , the rider is balanced -they are working as one. This is refinement”