You know, I understand the the whole thing about bonds only happening in movies and such. But I really DO feel I bond with my horses.
I mean, if they didn't have a personality, I might as well be riding a bicycle, right?
Take my Mustang for instance. He was a super horse from the day I bought him. But he was standoff-ish. He did his "job" but didn't really seem to enjoy being around me. And that was okay, because ultimately the training is what makes him a great horse. But I've had him for about seven years now and he has gotten so sweet. He nickers everytime he sees me. Lets me hug him, and just genuinely seems to be fond of me. We still have a horse/human relationship, but it is so much more than it was when I bought him. When I first bought him he didn't want to be caught and certainly didn't want hugs!
I bought another horse that was the same way. Well trained but kind of skittish like he never had positive human contact. He turned in to a snuggle muffin too.
So I dunno. I do feel I have a bond with my horses.
That's another thing. I think sometimes "we" (as humans) are always looking for perfection. And if the slightest thing goes wrong we take it personally like the horse is defying our authority or something. I try not to take it personally.
I rarely have a less-than-perfect day riding. It's not that my horses are perfect. Far from it. Sometimes my mare won't even WALK home on a trail ride! But I guess I just have fun with her the way she is, don't take it personally, and have fun riding even if the horse isn't perfect. I always try for good behavior, but if I don't get it, I don't get upset by it. I just go with the flow, and some days are better than others. But any day on horseback comes out feeling good.
Sometimes I see people get all tense and mad at their horse and I don't know why they can't just let it slide and enjoy the ride. Even if the horse is high strung. Riding should be fun, right?
But I can relate to the bad feelings too, because I have a yearling that drives me bonkers sometimes, and I just have to step back and tell myself to relax and not take it personal. He's a horse that has been on this planet less than two years. My other horses have been here close to 20, so of course they are better behaved.
Anyway, it could be that you and this horse just don't mesh personality wise. But I would not say that bonds don't exist. Maybe they don't exist in the way that The Black and Alec had a bond. Or maybe they do. Just because I haven't met them yet doesn't mean the aren't out there. But I DO feel I have a bond with my horses. I don't think you have to give up on that feeling and say it doesn't exist. Maybe you just have to lower your expectations a bit.
One piece of advice a friend gave me one time is "respect before friendship." I was shopping for a horse and that is what I wanted, a horse to be my best friend.
My friend said I should look for a horse that respects me first, and that friendship would come later. And that's true. That horse ended up being my Mustang. We weren't friends at first. He was just a good, well trained, but not very friendly horse. Now he's a cuddle muffin.
But I have had him and ridden him for 7 years now too.