Ah, I think we are having a break through, james! You are controlling your horse, you are just calling it something different. You want to call it directing the intention, fine.
Yes, but the point I've been trying to make is that I'm controlling the horse
, not the horse's body parts. She controls those, and does what is necessary to carry out the intent that I've communicated to her.
What happened at the creek? She balked because she didn't want to cross. You did whatever you had to do to get her across the creek. Even if you had to get off and lead her across, you were controlling her feet.
I suppose in a sense, but I just don't think of it that way. What I controlled was her willingness to cross (presumably because I'd spent a lot of time walking with her on a lead, and when she could see me step across, she knew it was ok). Whether she made a small jump or just took a long step was irrelevant that time. (I'm still far from 100% at being able to tell her whether to step across something, or jump it.) Nor do I really think of it in terms of control, more like persuasion, but I suppose that's just a language thing.
What I am not suggesting is that all horses should automatically just do what I say. First, it is my job to teach them what my aids mean.
Sure, though I'm kind of coming at it from the opposite direction: she has lots more experience at being a horse than I do at riding, so it's more a matter of me figuring out what aids she's been trained to understand.
How do you turn a horse without controlling the shoulder and hip? You say you pick up the reins and apply pressure. Or maybe a leg aid is applied. That, my friend, is controlling the horse's body parts.
Depends on how much of a turn I want. If it's something like weaving through trees, it's maybe a little pressure on the reins & a bit of shifting body weight. Sometimes I'm not even fully aware that I'm doing anything, it's almost like she's reading my mind. Other times, as for instance when I want her to turn and ride away from the other horses (which I try to do a time or two on most rides), I have to get a good bit more emphatic with rein & leg. That's more like what I'd call control.