I've owned several horses in the past, and a couple were pretty good ones. I'm not a horse expert. If a professional were to watch me, she'd get a good laugh. I never did understand "leads" (something about a horse using the proper front leg first when it turns). All I know is to get on and ride. I've always said I would not keep a horse on the place if I'm not riding it occasionally. That is no longer a true statement, because I'm now owned by a horse named Blue. He isn't just a pet, he's my friend. And as far as I'm concerned, he has a home here till he dies, whether I ride or not.
Blue would rather eat than do anything else, but in the morning when I take him his hay, he won't start eating until I've given him a few hugs and pats. He loves kisses on his velvet nose, and thrives on well-placed scratches. Cliff has never been a big fan of horses (they tear up fences and chase cattle) but he's become a grudging admirer of Blue.
It wasn't thus when I first got this horse. He hadn't been ridden for at least three years, and was fat and out of shape. After an initial ride when I first got him home, he decided he'd be boss: When I saddled him and tried to mount, he'd strike at me with his front foot, and try and cow-kick me with his back foot, very dangerous practices. I'd go out to the pen intending to pet him, and he'd lay his ears back and act like he was going to bite me. I could have cried!
But somehow in all my Internet surfing, I discovered Mark Rashid and ordered his first book, "Considering the Horse". He told of experiences he'd had with individual horses, and I put some of his ideas into practice. Within a month, Blue was a different horse. My daughter told me yesterday, "Now that I know Blue, all other horses are nags." I couldn't have said it better myself!