The most exact definition of pressure won't matter a thing, if I cannot evaluate empathically what it means to the other side.
That is one of the nicest quotes I've heard in a very long time. Noteworthy!
It IS hard. It's impossible, I think, to come up with words that work for everyone and that's why I prefer when someone demonstrates it clearly. This means of course, that you won't be able to speak or write words that will make it all clear for everyone. It can only be felt.
I've been mentioning Buck Brannaman a lot lately because I bought and watched the "Seven Clinics with Buck Brannaman" dvds. They are utterly brilliant. You cannot get through them without a pretty good sense of what he means when he says "feel". Had I just read it in a book, I think I would still be a bit puzzled by it. But seeing it helps so much.
He uses varying amounts of pressure of course. Everyone does, and it comes down to how much time you have to spend and whether or not you are starting fresh with a blank slate of a horse, or if you are fixing a problem someone has created (bracing). The most pressure he uses is with horses that have been made dangerous.
But he shows an exercise in patience over and over again. You take up the slack in the rein or line until you just reach that contact where the slack is gone (and in some cases, you don't take up the slack completely but still leave some) and you wait. You don't increase the contact, you don't ask for more, you don't try to hurry the horse to show him what you want. You just....wait....as long as it takes. When the horse responds, you release so quick that the horse is very, very certain that he guessed what you were asking.
He admonishes everyone to NEVER "take the think out of the horse". He makes it clear that it's easy to stop a horse from thinking. They will give up thinking very easily if you never let them know that you value it. If you kill it, it's dead. You will never get it back. If it's only suppressed, you have a chance to get it back. Clearly though, the best course of action is to never damage it to begin with. He talks of the joy of working with a horse that thinks.
The values he demonstrates are values that I share, so I'm very open to what he has to offer. There are always people who are closed to it though, so no matter how hard you try, there are people that will not learn it.