While I agree that Gal is a quieter and possibly even better rider than Rath, I don't think that a bond is necessary between horse and rider to produce results.
I completely disagree with you here. I believe the bond is essential!
In the showring in the UK top show ponies change riders every 4-6 years as children get too old for the size of thier pony. It is well known that even top ponies do not preform to the same standard for the first 1 or 2 years with a new rider as the bond with the rider is not there. They still do well but not as well because the rider does not think like that pony, does not know it inside out, know its quirks and instinctively know what that horse was thinking. The horse will not trust a new rider as much as one it has had for a long time, will not have the same support or same management.
Example for you:
Stan I owned for 10 years I knew him inside out, I knew how he thought, I could predict how he would preform as soon as I unloaded him (no need to even sit on him as I could tell you what sort of mood he was in and how it would affect the ride he gave). He trusted me and when I said something wasnt scarey, it wasn't, If I asked him to pick up and fly over the ground then he would fly! If I asked him to rally round when he was knackered he tried his best for me.
I got too old for the Junior M&M classes so a good friend of mine rode him for 2 seasons in those classes whilst I did the opens on him.She is also a very good rider and he was very well schooled. She got results, yes the first show she went too on him she got 4th out of a class of 49! Could I have done better? You bet I could have because when she asked the judge how she could improve the judge pointed out that he had been looking for an excuse to spook in one corner and hesitated in anouther (both bad for what should be aperfectly schooled and mannered pony), both were things that I had spotted (from the side of the ring) were going to happen well (normaly about 5 strides) before they actualy happened, sitting on top I would have been able to perdict it even earlier and stop it before it even started.
Anouther show we went to She did the juniors, got a 5th. Then in the afternoon I did the open against pretty much the same competition and I won the class.
I've ridden her horse I can't get half the tune out of him that she can.
I realy don't get my sisters arab either, he feels like a bomb about to go off andI can't predict when he will, my sister thinks he is the easiet ridde in the world, she says she sits there and points him in the right direction and he does the rest, but she and him have an incredible bond! She disliked riding stan ass she couldnt get him to do much, she just ended up confusing him. A good horse will go well for any rider, but they only go BRILLIANTLY for a rider that they have a bond with!