“The horse is never wrong” – this is one of my favorite expressions, but I think sometimes it’s misunderstood. It doesn’t mean they are always reflecting a rider’s error, it means they are doing what they think they should be doing, based on their education level and experiences.
A rider may be doing everything perfectly and the horse can still not do what we want. It’s our job to educate. Sometimes, fixing the presentation in how we ask is enough to fix the problem, but sometimes the horse isn’t capable quite yet, or has very ingrained habits.
The biggest difference between the best riders and amateurs is not the lack of mistakes, it’s the willingness to experiment until you get it right, and the ability to break tasks down into achievable steps for the horse. Mainly, it’s looking at the big picture.