When I first bought Blue, he wasn't really thrilled about having a new owner. He'd been out to pasture for three years with nobody bothering him. When I first tried to climb in the saddle, he'd cow-kick. If I got near his front end, he'd strike with his front leg.
Yep, this is the same old Blue I ride often now. The horse I have bonded with so thoroughly for three years, and kiss on the soft, velvety part of his nose almost every day. I'm not a cowgirl, either. I wasn't raised with horses.
How did such a cowardly person as I manage to make friends with such a spoiled horse?
I took a chair to his pen, turned my back to him, and read a book.
Funny thing about horses: if they think you aren't worried about them, they'll break their silly necks trying to be your friend.
The only investment on your part is time: You must be willing to sit in that chair, ignoring the horse, for however long it takes.
It amazes me how few people are willing to devote that kind of time to establishing a relationship.
And then they wonder what is wrong with their horse. (or their spouse, or child, or friend.) All they really want is for you to be there, not demanding anything of them. Just your presence, the knowledge that you care. Maybe horses aren't so much different than people.