I think, my personal challenge is now to become more interesting. Although I am training via positive reinforcement and food rewards, the Törtchen seems to be bored from time to time and goes away.
So a personal change is necessary. So, how shall I start? And how can this be combined with the clicker training that accompanies us always an everywhere? I'm a little bit lost concerning this.
First of all I'd say: give it the time it takes
You're only 1.5 years into the adventure with your horse - I'd consider that a short time for building a relationship
I have Mucki for almost four years now. Since the beginning I have been working on motivation with him. There have been times when he would just stand in the corner of the arena and ignore me. There are still times when everything else in the world seems more interesting than me. It's an ongoing process, but it changes (and improves) continually.
Generally I'd say that positive reinforcement changes the motivation of a horse to the better for sure, but it is not the answer to everything. There are exercises I tried with Mucki and he simply wouldn't do them for any food reward in the world. They are simply boring. For Lily it can be totally different.
I started out with a pretty strict concept of clicker training in mind, but have changed my way of rewarding considerably since then. I decided for me that my rewards have to match my general way of interacting and that is supposed to be more like a benevolent friend (or father), rather than a strict teacher. That removed a lot of tension from the training and put in more fun for both of us.
Two other very important parts in our interaction have always been: 1) Blending in with the locals
. Means spending time with Mucki in the herd, asking for nothing, but observing and participating in their daily live. Grazing with my hand next to his mouth, as herd buddies would do. Go looking for fallen fruit or acorns with him. Accompany him to the water drinker. Stand guard while he is sleeping. And many things more...2) Nurturing my inner child
. Deep within, I can be a very childish character, but I had to learn again how to act like child again, in order to instigate real play with the horses. I believe this one to be of utmost importance.
When horses play, they are true children - teasing, brawling, joking, competing, bragging. Try going to the pasture and start running around, or dancing. Just have real, genuine fun with yourself and you'll see that horses will be drawn to it