Walter Zettl writes in his book Dressage in Harmony that you should always start with a lesson plan of what you wish to work on. He argues that if you really want to study and focus on learning, you must plan for what it is you wish to teach.
For years I took the 'willy nilly' approach to riding, often working on too many things and accomplishing very little. But now I am realizing that there is a flaw in the 'get on and ride' premise.
Although I haven't been planned in minute increments I am working on 'one step at a time', basically getting Tesoro's movements moderated so he moves only one step at a time, unlike his pre-disposition to go twenty steps at a time.
It is going amazingly well, today we sidepassed over poles and a couple of times I got only one step. Trust me when I say, that is an accomplishment (the one step).