At the risk of sounding like one of those touchy-feely-horses-are-just-like-big-puppies people
... I would like some advice and perspective on my bonding with my horse.
I bought her in December 2014, and she is my first horse. All throughout the winter, I rode when I could and spent a good deal of time with her just loving on her, grooming, feeding, just being around her in the barn. She is pasture boarded with around 10 other horses. I am good friends with the BO/trainer, so I go out there multiple times a week to ride, have lessons and sometimes just hang out.
The "issue" I have is that... I'm not sure my horse actually enjoys our time together. Now, I know I know-- I'm not looking for my horse to like me per se, respect yes-- like
... that's a bonus. However, I don't know if we have built up that bond enough to where she trusts me. Does that make sense?
What are some things or exercises you have done that I could try? We work at least 1-2x per week in the arena and also do trails at least once a week, if they are clear. I have done roundpen work with her once ( with my trainer). I know no one can give me a definitive answer on how much time together ='s a connection. There's no real indicator that she has given me that she even acknowledges who I am or what I'm there for. I read a lot of people who's horses come up to them at the gate or follow them around even without a lead. We just aren't there yet and I'm wondering what some next steps for me could be. I was hoping after several months of me being a pretty consistent human in her life there would start to be some connection or at least acknowledgement.
I am not a treat person, either. I have nothing against them at all, and they work well for plenty of people. I just don't like going out to the pasture with treats and not knowing if a new horse is boarded there and be ambushed by a bunch of ponies looking for treats!
... In the barn, I give her treats very rarely, which she could take or leave. She isn't big on carrots or apples, either.