What about when it feels too heavy? Roxanne in MT

BILL— First, have someone whose knowledge you trust look at what’s going on with your horse and see if your perceptions are correct. There’s butterfly light, chiffon light, and “light truck” light. There’s heavy cream, heavy rain, and a 747 Heavy. If you’re tentative in your riding or new to dressage, it’s not unusual to err on the side of lightness, often to the point of barely taking a passive contact. In training, “lightness” is an ongoing goal, but you’ll run into instances where it can’t be your primary concern. You never lose the thought of it, but solving another issue short term may take precedence.

As much as I would preach against taking a hold of your horse, holding him up, or letting him drag you around, before I set about lecturing on rebalancing halt halts, repeated transitions, and lateral suppling exercises to make him vulnerable to longitudinal ones, I’d just like to be sure we agree as to whether it’s in his learning envelope to pass through or if it’s actually a problem.