to me 'focus' and rewarding are totally different things.
When I need to do a task, and someone is standing next to me, viewing my every move like an eagle to see how I am doing... no, not a good thing for me.
I mean 'focus' in a predator sort of way.
Eye-ing someone out...
That very same focus horses use to send each other away, is the same focus a lot if riders use on their horse when riding.
Constantly watching every move like a hawk.
that is different then enjoying some ones company or loving someones every move.
That to me is being, working and playing together, not focussing on someone.
You see, how words mean different to every one?
For myself it makes all the difference who that person is to me, how trustworthy they are, (and how much I trust them or do not).
The skilled teacher is a joy to have focus on me and gather information to help me improve my performance toward my goal.
I am thrilled they are so focused.
The nasty critical unskilled 'teacher,' real or self appointed, on the other hand, that is looking for something to point out to blame, or shame, or insult me with is another matter entirely.
Performance anxiety in front of a crowd of people must have some of that challenge in it. One knows that some will be nasty critics, and that some will be good teachers in the sense they look for what you do well, and how their response might improve your performance.
Even when a teacher is hard, as long as they are fair, and they are especially very good at finding out about me those things I wish to know to improve, I am more welcoming of their intense focus, and less afraid of it.
The quality of the relationship, above all.
Which I expect of myself when I am with the horse. That I look to how to coach her to be her best. And of course that depends so much on MY values. For I am deciding what is her best.
And if I am wrong for that horse she will be afraid of my 'focus' and correction. How good a teacher am I? How supportive? How nurturing? How good or poor my judgment?
The horse will teach me that.
In the end.
One way or another.
Funny, I think I've seen it written somewhere by someone that the horse is the true master.
Now who could that have been, eh?