On a horse there is a perfect position of balance where he doesn’t feel like he’s pushing you along with him or dragging you along with him. It’s like two converging currents in a river, where those currents converge, there is a point where there is no movement, no energy; and that’s what you’re thinking when you’re on the back of a horse...
I’m not trying to turn you into cowboys, I’m just trying to get you better coordinated, get your horse used to things, get your horse comfortable. Heck, on the first ride you should be swinging a rope off a horse. You should be doing this not so you can rope a cow, but just to get him (your horse) gentle. You can’t think of everything in life your horse might encounter that might make him afraid so you’d better prepare em for it in other ways.
Once you have seen quality horsemanship and are exposed to the things you can do to help a horse be gentle and dependable, then why wouldn't you do those things? No matter what your horse's age, you are going to try to offer him the best that you can. If you adjust what you are doing, he will adjust too; horses have an amazing capacity to make changes. There is always hope.
I realized that there are some things about all of us, no matter where we're from, that connects us as humans. We're looking for the same sorts of contentment in our lives and while some people are searching a little harder than others, we're not all that different.
With the horses, you can’t let them call the shot part of the time and then you call the shot part of the time. They’re not really designed to be your leader, but they can be a great partner, but you need to lead, and they need to respect you and respond with respect. Don’t think of respect as a dirty word. You need to respect them as well.
Theoretically the human is supposed to be the smart one so as you get acquainted with the horse, you explore what it's going to take for him to understand what you would like him do, with as little trouble as possible. You're trying to avoid conflict, not trying to create it.
As a rider, you must slowly and methodically show your horse what is appropriate. You also have to discourage what's inappropriate, not by making the inappropriate impossible, but by making it difficult so that the horse himself chooses appropriate behavior. You can't choose it for him; you can only make it difficult for him to make the wrong choices. If, however, you make it impossible for him to make the wrong choices, you're making war.