I have a gelding I have had since his birth, who has been started under saddle this year. I was doing PNH with him but he really hates the upping the phases and would stop, brace and just plain quit. My other problem with this horse is even though I like him I don't feel any real "connection" to him, why I don't love the horse I have cared so well for 4 years? What do I do?
I find most horses do hate the upping the phases!! To them, it doesn't seem fair or consistent.
I'm happy for him and you that you are looking for a way to offer him something better.
Its not that there aren't times when 'assertiveness' is the best thing...but not on a consistent basis and used *every time* we teach them something, or they don't *do* as fast as we would like!!
In my mind, the same action done by the human can be either assertive or aggressive...it depends on the mindset of the human as he is taking that action...AND...the mindset of the horse receiving it...even if we aren't feeling like we are presenting it aggressively, if the horse perceives it that way, then we are the ones that have to change our presentation...
And to further complicate this...another horse might have accepted what we did and how we did it just fine!!!
The more we meditate on these ideas, the more meaning they take on - 1. As little as it takes and just enough to be effective. 2. Less is more.
As far as the 'connection'...I do understand. As much as I love equines, I feel about them the way I do about people...all have their own personalities so I am more drawn to some than others...and like you, I have to have a connection.
Did you ever feel really connected with him? If so, can you get a sense of when the connection began to lessen? Or if you never felt that with him...have you figured out why...IOW, is it something that might be changed...if he had more training, would you be more comfortable...I'm just trying to throw a few ideas out.
One thing I am pretty sure of...if he is unhappy with the phases, Etc...then that will change his personality...horses act differently based on what is happening in their life, just like we do.
But bottom line is...do what you need to do...the reason we have these critters is for enjoyment...I know from what you have written, you aren't just gonna sell him to anyone...you feel a responsibility and will honor that.
I agonized for 2 years about selling a particular horse...and felt guilty for another 2!!! But it still was the best decision for both of us.
You face a difficult decision. Listen to your heart and your mind...when they agree, you will know it is 'right'.
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