He heard you the first time!
Horses are very sensitive, but you as a rider can make your horse insensitive by being unconcentrated when you ride, or that you do not have the hand leg coordination that is required for being a good rider.
The horse feels every move you make, if you tell the horse to go forward with a light touch of your leg a well trained horse will listen directly!
To be able to mainintain a good horse you have to learn to ride on suitable school master, these you can often find in riding schools. These horses are not very sensitive because they have to put up with beginners and children jumping up and down on them! And it is a blessing that these horses exist, because eveybody rides “bad” in the begging!
So when you have learned to ride you have to learn to listen, if the horse is responding to your request! And that is why I ride with the dressage wip! I ask gently with my leg for the horse to do something, and if I don’t have a direct response I will give a reminder with the whip! So the next time I ask the horse, he will pay attention and listen to me stright away!
Same thing with stronger bits, and pulling the horse! You can teach your horse to have a soft mouth by training transitions, also using your voice! But you have to know what you are doing and why you are doing it! Never get stuck in the reins, ask the horse to stop, if he does not listen take harder quick and then realize. Not puuuuuuuuul haaaaaaard and looooog. It is the worst!
What I recommend is to watch good riders train, take lessons and when you do, first make sure the horse goes easy forward with a light touch of the leg, and stops easy with a light touch of the rein! Start in walk, be conscious and concentrated!
Many times you can see good riders riding on horses and the horse can jump a big jump and then just take a perfect transition to walk after, and you think wow, if I had that horse I could do the same! But the perfect transition you and no matter what horse you are riding can learn! You just have to start being aware of what you are doing, why you are doing it and how the horse is responding!