Establishing Trust and a better bond with your horse
I was brought up in the english world of riding where you did whatever your trainer said and didn't argue with that . The only way to train a horse was by lunging, and many hours in the saddle. If the horse didn't listen, bring out the whip or buy a new bridle and try a new bit. These methods may work just fine but I never felt connected to those horses I would ride. Thats when I started learning natural horsemanship methods such as clinton anderson and parelli. I learned a few things that I still hold on to today but it just wasn't for me.
I went to California and discovered a trainer named Cynthia Royal. She is the owner of one of the doubles of Shadowfax aka 'Blanco' from The Lord of The Rings. She works with high sprited stallions and even has a PMU horse that was rescued. Everything she does is at liberty. The horse has a choice on whether or not he wants to participate. That is the most important part of the training. You only interact with the horse when he is ready. If the horse is acting spirited one day, you let him run around and don't try to engage in a relationship until his energy goes down a bit. Don't chase him, just wait for him to come back to you.
If you take the time to listen and feel what your horse is telling you, things will come a lot easier.
The major aspects in her training (some of it also comes from natural horsemanship methods):
1. Shared Space- just spending time in the arena or pasture with your horse. No interaction. Focus on something other than horse. It then leads to petting and massaging your horse in his favorite spots as a treat.
2.Horse Handshake- putting your hand out letting the horse touch and smell with his nose. That is all. Resist temptations to pet your horse
1. Taking Territory- This is the part where you establish a dominant yet nurturing role. It will help with aggressive, pushy or disrespectful horses
There are much more details and steps that go into it but I wanted to give you an introduction. The end result is a horse that you will be able to ride bareback and bridleless if you wanted. I never have to use a roundpen anymore and he comes when I call. It won't happen overnight, any kind of training takes time.
I pretty much just wanted to let everyone out there know that you don't have to settle for methods you are not happy with even if it is what everyone else does. I'm not saying anyone has to convert to Cynthia Royals method. It has helped me out a lot but it might not work for you. Just follow what you believe in.