"Other than riding" fun
I went to get my horse from the field the other day and once he saw I was going to put his halter on him instead of just feed him he pretty much threw a temper tantrum because he thought I was going to work him, since that always means I am going to walk him to the barn, saddle him up, and ride him.
So I felt bad that he has the impression that the only thing I mean to him is either "food" or "work". The past couple days I've been taking him to the barn and just loving on him and playing with him, but I'm running out of ideas!
The first day I walked him over to the barn, brushed him, petted him all over, combed his mane and tail out, and hand grazed him before feeding and putting him up.
The second day I was planning on taking him on a walk down our trail, instead of riding and just letting him meander, but we had a bad storm come through which made the trail muddy and nasty, so I worked on teaching him a new trick. I read about "clicker training" and thought it would be fun. i taught him to touch the handle of the lunge whip when I say "touch it". Well he's pretty bright considering in about 20 minutes I could throw the whip on the ground and tell him to "touch it" and he'd walk over to where it was and touch his nose to the black handle.
So I'd like to teach him new tricks, or just play with him...something to keep the wheels in his head turning without it seeming like work.