Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: I'm an American girl living in southwest France
To earn a horse's trust is not the same thing necessarily as earning his respect. But regarding the trust thing, BE FAIR and BE CONSISTENT. That's about as trustworthy as you can get as a human.
To be fair includes lots of things, like not losing your temper, using escalating forms of pressure until you get what you're looking for (starting with the least to the most) and then immediately releasing the pressure, realizing if your horse isn't doing what you want it's likely your fault due to poor communication, not asking more than your horse is capable of doing, not over-doing the training in one session, not asking for too much at once, and many other things.
To be consistent is to always ask for things the same way, or, if you are going to change how you ask, don't expect your horse to read your mind about that. You have to re-train to the new signal. Keep your moods out of horse-riding and training. Your horse does not deserve to be treated poorly because you're feeling poorly - always have a cool head. Always expect respect and good behavior; if you let your horse get away with things one day, don't expect him to understand the next day will be different. That's consistency, along with lots of other things I can't think of right now. :)
“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare