I don't know if my horses "love" me, but they sure do look to me for leadership. When Walka is upset or afraid he will make a bee line for me ( nothing like 1000lbs of nostril flaring, tail straight up scared horse coming straight at you to test your "bond") LOL! T is always even keeled, but on occasion I have had to just growl "cut it out" at her and she immediately stops whatever it is. For other riders this does not happen.
They are both quiet, relaxed horses most times, and all I have to do is clap three times ( not kidding, programed response) and they will come to me from the pasture.
I believe they trust me, and I'd like to think they love me, but it's not something I'm really concerned about.
Oh and Cinny, loved your story. I know in my heart if that had been T, she would have been looking for green pastures! She's marvelous with a young or inexperienced rider, takes good care of them, but with someone she believes knows better, it's everyone for themselves!LOL!
Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh crap, she's up!".