Re: Ways to bond with your horse - any ideas?
You could have a go at some join up, I don't have an arena so I do my own version in a small paddock, I lunge Tenor off of his bridle ( make sure that you twist the reins and thread the throat lash through them if you do this ) in walk, trot and canter, making sure that he stays out on the circle and away from me, I then remove the lunge line and turn away from him and slowly start to walk away, he follows me and stays right by my shoulder, he will halt when I stop and walk beside me changing direction etc. He then follows me to the gate when we finish our session.
We also enjoy some in-hand training, just simple stuff like walk, trot, halt, rein back, turn on the forehand and asking him to lower his head like a sort of bow lol ! I also find that after doing this he will follow me without me having to hold his lead rope. Just have a play and experiment a bit. Poles can be good fun to work with in-hand, there is a good exercise that Kelly Marks uses, you set out the poles in a hollow L shape, wide enough for your horse to comfortably walk through and lead him through slowly with you in front of him facing him and walking backwards, once he has come through forwards, try asking him to go backwards, it seems easy but turning the corner really makes them think where they are putting their feet, if he struggles with this just move the poles further apart.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do, have fun ! Lyn XX