Originally Posted by Saddlebag
Take a chair and a book and just go spend time with the horse, completely ignoring it and simply sharing space. Do this often. It builds trust, not just compliance.
If every time our horse sees us, we throw a saddle on its back and make it work, it will learn to associate us with unpleasant experiences. And we wonder why we have a hard time catching our horses in the pasture! Or why it wants nothing to do with us when we're in the stall. On your down time, do something that the horse enjoys. My horse LOVES the rubber curry. It's like...his best friend. I bring into the pasture with me at times and as soon as I reach him, I'll start giving him a good scrub. Tricks are great too. Cut some carrots into small peices and teach your horse some tricks. Better yet, clicker train him. Make it a game where he can easily be rewarded often for his efforts. Or like Saddlebag said, just do nothing. Hang out. Just be happy to be with your horse. Not only will it build "trust" but it will perk his curiosity in you. Your horse will start to see you more as his pasture buddy (Just make sure that you are his higher ranking buddy in the pecking order ^^)
I don't have an indoor arena, so when I couldn't work with him because the pasture is a slop, I'd find little things to do with him in the stall. I'd lounge on his back while he ate, teach him to lead by his forlock or tail or back off pressure on his nose. A little practice and a -lot- of carrots later, he now knows an adorable bowing trick (he actually goes on one knee ^^). The results I had were great. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing my horse drop what he's doing and come galloping up to me from pasture. Or follow me around in the stall, or try to buddy chew with me when I groom him. ^^ Saddlebag, I think this is great advice, and I totally second it!