(“. . . maybe in bowling or golf or archery . . .”)
Here’s a hint. It’s not always practice despite what the clichéd homily says. It’s not even perfect practice that wins the day. It’s schooling, and that means simple repetition of the desired finished product is not enough in our sport. Maybe it is in bowling or golf or archery, but as we all know as riders, being able to command your body to consistently perform a certain action is only one facet of being successful.
The whole point much of the time is to recognize why a movement isn’t working right. Is your horse too slow off the leg? Leaning on the shoulder? Not coming through his back? A long list of possibilities!
Many times you may seem to be going far afield of your proclaimed goal while getting at the underlying cause(s) of the problem. When you have solved them—and have revisited the solution as many times as necessary—then practice can help you.
As far as “perfect practice.” don’t conclude that this always means lots of practice. A horse which anticipates lengthening on every diagonal or making a flying change in every corner is a victim of too much practice. Your golf ball doesn’t anticipate, but you can be darn sure if you aren’t careful that your horse will.