Are we getting them wrong?
Can You Relate?
There's a misconception that we need to "build a relationship" with our horse. If you think about it, that doesn't make any sense. We don't build relationships. We have relationships. In other words, you already have a relationship with your horse. It's the quality of the relationship that is dynamic, not the relationship itself.
You Had Me at Hello
Every time you engage in any way with another creature, you are relating to them. For either of you, that interaction may be completely neutral (have no impact on you whatsoever), positive (beneficial or pleasant in some way), or negative (an experience you'd rather avoid in the future!).
What is a Relationship Anyway?
A relationship is any connection or association between two, or more, individuals. Going back to the concept of a relationship being positive, negative, or neutral, the word "relationship" only refers to the act of interacting.
It's the quality of those interactions with your horse that are the most important part. How you relate to your horse, has way more influence on your relationship with him than how he relates to you. You are the one who holds the most power in your relationship, after all.
Look! There It Is!
Instead of putting your efforts into building something that already exists, take a step back and look back at your relationship with your horse. Take a close look. How does it feel? What does it look like? The next time you are with your horse, be acutely aware of how you and he relate in the "right now," those continuous string of moments you spend together, both from a distance and when you're up close and personal. Shift your vantage point so you can see your relationship as it is and as something you and your horse have already created together.