By achieve, I meant competition wise. And not winning, but personal bests for me and my horse.
And I have to disagree :] One, my horses are not frustrated. They don't display any unnatural behaviour, they are relaxed in their manner, around people and alone in the paddock. Two, just because I ride whenever I go out to my horse, doesn't mean it's always hard work! The majority of my riding is trail riding, we taek them swimming in the summer, etc.
I think we approach horses in a different way. I believe that I give my horses the highest standard of care, I keep them safe, warm, fed, free from any natural predators, free from many diseases and injuries they could sustain in the wild, I keep them mentally stimulated, and I treat them with compassion. In return, I ask they they work for me. I expect them to have manners and respect, and to try anything I ask of them. I don't ask them to do something beyond their abilities, and I don't push them beyond their mental capacity.
I just can't believe that horses can see us as friends. They see us as sources of food, treats, satisfying scratches and brushes. (As much as I pretend that my arab loves me more than anyone else, shhh!)
I own my horses to ride, to compete on. If I wanted something just to brush and love on, I would buys dogs. (And we have 8, lol).
I honestly don't think i'm missing anything in my relationship with my horses, and I believe there are many different types of relationships people have with horses, and many are effective. In my opinion, a horse doesn't need you to be a friend.
Now i'll button my lip :p