I like what you've said, Cherie. I would have to add that the reason I did desensitizing with my horse was not to cover every thing we might encounter. But to show him, that when we encounter strange stuff, he can trust me. It has really helped out bond - which is soooo strong. I trust him to trust me. And he does. The desensitizing was fun for him. When I tell him we're going on an "adventure", he knows he's going to see something new. And he is always eager. Desensitizing is just a trust building exercise. I valued them quite a lot. Plus - they're fun, social and a great way to meet more neat horse riders and potential trail parnters.
Looking at the trail through the ears of my horse...wonderful!