I sit out by my horses very often, and that certaintly strengthens the bond. But I think natural horsemanship-type training also makes a closer bond. I know I probably wouldn't love someone if the just made me run in circles untill I'm dead tired, then shoved a bit in my mouth, put a saddle on my back and rode me around for hours after that. Which is pretty much the "regular" way to train a horse. Just because it is common doesn't mean it is right. Moe and I have a closer bond now than we did when I first started training him. My trainer insisted on the tiring method, which never worked for him, being such an intellegent horse. I started natural horsemanship and now I actually think we are closer than ever.