As you progress your horse through the Method, start to expect more out of him. In other words, don’t fall into the trap of just accepting whatever he gives you and never challenging him.
When you’re first teaching a horse a lesson, it’s what I like to call the concept lesson – you’re giving him a chance to understand what you’re asking of him. If he even half stumbles on the right answer, you immediately reward him by releasing the pressure. But once the horse understands the concept of the lesson, then you can start to work toward perfection, asking the horse to put in more effort. If you don’t ask your horse to raise the bar and increase his performance, I guarantee he’ll never do it on his own.
So each time you work with him, look for a little more improvement. It’s like teaching a kid how to write. In the beginning, if he keeps one letter on the page you think he’s Einstein. With encouragement, every year his handwriting gets a little bit neater. You don’t expect a kid to be able to write his name and keep it neat all in the first lesson. You build on what he knows and keep encouraging him to get a little better every day. Follow that same concept when working with your horse, first make sure he understands the concept of the lesson and then start to raise the bar. Remember, you always want to establish a starting point, but once the horse understands what he’s supposed to do, then you can work on perfecting the lesson. But if you try to perfect the lesson before the horse understands the concept, you’ll run into trouble.