Originally Posted by QHDragon
I don't know about that, after a while he starts to get fidgety with his head, and starts looking for things to spook at. I would call that getting bored.
No I would call that losing focus. You stimulate him to do something more interesting and any fidgets will be forgotten.
Just to give you an example of a rider that is likely to lose their horse's attention is one I had.
I asked her to do a shoulder in. Very simple and if you know how to do it shouldn't take you long to set up the horse. Well she was about 7 strides from the end of the long side so she rode the rest of the way along that side, along the short side and proceeded to do it about 1/4 way into the following long side of the arena.
I asked her why it took so long....answer? I was waiting for the next long side as we always do it there. THAT is thinking within the confines of a box. It could have been done in so many places but her brain just didn't operate to think that it could have been done on the short side or even in the middle of the arena. This is a rider that will get into trouble in a test if anything goes wrong for they cannot "fix" anything because the "fix" is done only at certain spots.
This is a rider that can't just ride around and "see" a travers, or leg yield, or pirouette or half pass developing because of the position they put the horse and will lose the one moment in time when all is aligned correctly.
A good rider becomes a trainer and sees these spacial shapes coming together and seizes the moment even if it was not planned. This is the kind of rider that keeps its horse focused upon what the they are asking for and it becomes too busy complying to do much else.