To truly "connect" with your horse, you must be a team. By that, I mean the two of you have a "job" to do and it is done in partnership.
Whether you do Western show discipline or jumping or ranch work doesn't matter, the point is that you and your horse do something together that requires you to "depend" on one another. Your horse needs to be trained to a level that he knows his job and knows what's expected of him. The horse then learns that you - his rider - will stay out of his way and help him do that job. In other words, you trust your horse and your horse trusts you, it's a two way street. Both horse and rider rely on each other.
Now, this doesn't happen overnight. Just because you "fell in love" with your equine purchase doesn't mean you just suddenly become partners. Nor does admiring your horse do it. You must become a working unit together. It takes time for horse and rider to get to know one another and trust one another. The process can be challenging at times but stick to it because the rewards are really worth it! One last note - partners must each do their part, your part includes making sure your horse is suitable for the discipline you choose. Talk to you next week! JD