I didn't think of my horse as something to be dominated, he was my friend. We had a healthy respect for each other. He didn't just eat at will on a ride, but if I stopped to take a call or stopped to talk to another rider I met on the trail, he felt free to help himself, as he should. I wasn't his master or his owner, I was his friend and his family. He knew that and we treated each other as such. We had our tussles -- as all families do -- on the trail at times, but I loved his independent spirit and we challenged one another (in a positive way). I always wanted our rides to be as much fun for him as they were for me; after all, I didn't own him, we owned each other.