Hi & welcome!
Sounds like you're off to a good start. I think learning about natural equine behaviour and about behavioural principles of training is really helpful in considering when/how/why to do things... or not. It's vital to understand & consider natural behaviour, and to understand the principles behind how we (can) effect their behaviour(aka training).
There's plenty out there to learn from, but here are a few to start with... Equine Behavior- Homepage AEBC - Articles The Cognitive Horse | For a horse-human relationship based on reciprocal expression The Clicker Center
**I think it's so important to understand the principles
(have I said that enough??
) in order to consider objectively what sorts of techniques or 'methods' you want to use.
...and one I just found that explains basically how I feel about 'dominance' The Dominance Model and Horsemanship by Equine Ethology Are Dead | enlightened horsemanship through touch
IMO 'natural' doesn't necessarily mean it's the best or appropriate answer in any situation, any more than punishment is necessarily wrong. I do think there is a big difference in 'dominance' vs 'respected leadership' and I strive for leadership.
Re your question of hanging out with your horse, I personally feel that is valuable. Being with your horse without expecting anything from him will allow him to become more comfortable with you, you can watch & learn from him, you can reinforce him for wanting to be with you. To help him gain trust in you as a leader who will look out for his safety, being considerate of his point of view on things is a huge start. Being clear & consistent and assertive in what you ask of him & not asking more than he can fairly give you.