Horses are really smart. They don't need endless repetitions in order to learn something, they just need clear communication from you based on a "language" they understand.
Horses are prey animals, and people are predators. Predators (people, cats, dogs, etc.) are designed to close their hands (or claws) quickly, and open slowly, if ever at all. In order to communicate naturally with horses, we need to learn not to act like a predator. One way to do this is to learn to have hands that close very slowly, and open quickly.
A lot of people say it's "give and take." In the Natural Horsemanship world, it's take away very slowly, and give it back quickly. It doesn't matter if you're using your legs, reins, stick, or rope. It doesn't matter what you're doing, the principle of hands that close slowly and open quickly still applies.