Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck
Here's my take on it. Two riders are riding in the arena. Both horses are trotting along the rail. Rider #1's horse starts to get strung out and disconnected. The rider keeps going along at the trot on the rail. Horse stays strung out. Rider #2's horse is trotting and starts to get strung out. The rider puts her horse on a circle, does a few half halts, puts it all back together, and proceeds along in a nice connected trot. 1 is passenger and 2 is rider. To me someone who associates training with the act of riding is a rider.
I like this comparison, I have for years had no formal training and now know that I was a passenger just quietly going on trails and just really steering and not much else really. After taking lessons for a while now i'm finally learning to be a rider meaning I can challenge my horses behaviour where needed to ensure I get the result I am after for example (and i'm sure there are better ones but can't think right now) I was recently riding a horse who was consistently asking to eat grass, the first time I asked her not to politely, yet she still tried to eat, she then got rude about it so I matched her behaviour and she went whoa okay I won't try that again. Once upon a time I would have let the horse eat grass and wait happily until we were on our way again (being a passenger) as I would have been worried about the reaction I got if I got tough, now I believe i'm starting to be a rider