Keeping your horse relaxed depends on you. If you’re anxious or nervous so are they. Relax, listen to calming music, don’t rush and don’t keep track of time. Barn time has no clocks just you and the horse.
When riding I strive to keep my horse relaxed. Lots of stopping and standing before asking for a new training expectation helps them to absorb what they just learned before moving on. Keeping them bending and focusing on you helps keep them engaged and not distracted. If you notice your horse lifting its head and looking around, ask for a circle to get the attention back on you. Don’t do tight circles. Always gradual circles just to keep focus on work not his barn buddies.
Don’t ride hard every time. End your rides on good notes. End after just one breakthrough even if you’ve only ridden for twenty minutes. This accelerates their learning more than the long rides. The next time you work them they will try harder so they can be rewarded sooner by being done. When you end your lesson the horse knows he’s pleased you. That’s all he wants to do now your both happy 🙂