I did the survey but it’s rather flawed. It sounds like it’s written for 11 year olds but it’s 18+ to answer.
The questions are ambiguous. “I fully trust myself to be open and vulnerable to my horse.” WTF? Agree or disagree? My horse is not my lover. Get too open and vulnerable and you will be trampled. I trust my horse within parameters that I have trained and established over the past 12 years. She can keep us safe in the back country and doesn’t spook at bicycles and loads safely and calmly in a trailer. She is also capable of losing her ever loving mind in the winter and turning into a cyclone in hand. And once that led to me being trampled and seriously injured.
So when I say I strongly disagree that I trust my horse enough to be open and vulnerable with her, its because I think that’s a batshtcrazy concept that is going to get someone killed. It’s not that “I don’t trust her” and that’s a bad thing like it would be with a lover.
Or “I can work through life problems by talking to my horse.” Again WTAF? I’m not 11. I don’t tell my horse people were mean to me at work and cry in her mane.
The ways that real adult horse people feel.close to their horses is different.
The horse becomes an extension of your body when things are going right in riding. You think a cue and it happens.
You trust your horse to keep you safe and know his job in the discipline you have both trained for whether that’s jumping or back country trail riding or cattle penning or endurance. But as the partner with the frontal lobe, it’s up to you to train and also to keep him safe. The horse has to trust you have his best interests at heart and won’t put him in dangerous situations.
On the ground, the cues can be very subtle but you still need to have boundaries even in liberty work or you will get double barrelled.
The magic about horses is that it anchors you in the present moment and is very zen.
As far as the horse “loving” you, we all know that they need their own species and are usually most content in a compatible herd on a nice field.
In high school one of my friends bought a rank 2 year old that turned out to legitimately have a mean streak. One of our early experiments in drinking parties ended up with friend freaking out sobbing in the bushes that “Pookie doesn’t love me anymore.”
If you want that kind of response you need to interview 14 year olds.
Unless the point is to see if all us old lady returning riders have reverted back to our inner 11 year olds.