Riding for long periods of time is loads of fun for the rider. But some times horses benefit more from smaller increments of work, especially when it comes to the arena riding. Working on a circle, for example, for an extended period of time can cause an impatient horse to want to quit. They can show this through either bucking, refusing to move, drifting severely, etc. When these things happen, your work automatically becomes noneffective. No matter how nice and effective you feel, you just lost it. This is because you lost your horse. In the event that this happens, you a few choices. You can either be done after finding a good place to stop or you can push your horse through it. Both of these things should be used if and when you hit a road block but they shouldn’t make your horse feel as if he’s just quitting. If your horse feels as if he’s quitting then that is what he’ll resort to when he doesn’t understand something.
To prevent these mental and/or physical road blocks, cut down how long your riding for to make your rides productive and effective. If your focus is dressage then come up with a few goals to accomplish for that ride, then set a 30 to 40 minute timer. This will help you manage your time, make it a habit to end on a good note, and encourage your horse to enjoy the work that they are being asked to do. If your jumping, set aside 15 minutes for a warm up and 30 minutes for your jumping. Riding for, at maximum, 45 minutes will keep your horse engaged and happy to be working. This will eliminate bored bucks and other shenanigans.
Overall, planning out your rides is very beneficial for bringing up young and/or green horses. Making your sessions short but effective is just as beneficial. You save time and have a happier healthier horse.