Yup I couldn't agree more with you!! I was definitely not very relaxed during the two point because I kept getting frustrated with myself for not being able to hold the position. I'll just take the lesson easy, not set sky high expectations like wanting to canter in two weeks and I'll do my best to stay relaxed. The thing is because my horses trot is soooo bouncy, sometimes I can't help but stiffen up. Oh well, I guess horse riding will teach me not only to relax when on horseback but also when facing any situation in my waking life!
A bouncy horse is a good reason not to stiffen your body. A relaxed and supple body can react to movement, whereas a stiff body is reacted upon and thrown around. Also, if the rider becomes stiff, the horse tenses, and the trot becomes rougher. Think of your legs as shock absorbers. Keeping you muscles relaxed and your knees loose, allow your legs to open and close slightly with the movement of your horse.
The muscles and joints throughout the rest of your body work and adjust better to compensate for the movement of your horse if they, too, remain pliable.
In one of the stories in Paul Belasik's book "The Songs of Horses", the narrator tells of traveling to Japan hoping to learn how to shoot arrows from the back of a horse by taking lessons from a Samurai master.
The teacher spent what seem an inordinate amount of time trying to teach his few students to sit and breath without even getting on the one horse he had as his school. Once, he took them to a small building constructed on stilts and gave them full cups of tea. He told the students to sit and hold the tea while he went to do something. He cautioned them not to spill the tea on floor of the building his forefathers built. While they sat, the teacher went and got his horse. He took it beneath the building and had the horse lean against one of the pillars to shake the building.
Trying to hold the cup still, one student spilled the tea on his clothing. Another spilled it on the floor. It was the student you kept his body loose who was able to let his body move with the shaking of the building while keeping his hands steady so the tea did not spill.