I know Freckles tries to ask me stuff. Mostly he tries to reciprocate what I ask from him
I have noticed that there is always a "purpose" behind his questions. He doesn't ask me to walk with him so that we can walk together (like I do) - he asks me to walk with him so we can GO THERE where something needs doing. I think we humans find satisfaction in just being able to get the response we want from the horse, for example we like to know that the horse will lead nicely with us. I think that, for the horse, this often does not make sense and they need to know that being nice on a lead will have a "functional" end-result like getting to a place or object.
Hmmm. This is a bit difficult to explain. I'm happy when Freckles gives me his foot when I ask. Freckles is happy when I give him my foot when he asks BECAUSE he can take my shoe and play with it. I see "getting the foot" as the result, but he sees "getting the shoe and playing with it" as the result. We both asked the same question. My "purpose" was to have him give me foot. His "purpose" was to have me give him my foot TO GET MY SHOE. I see value in getting his foot and he doesn't. He sees value in what can be done because of getting that foot.
Am I making any sense at all here?
Anyway, Freckles has developed cues/aids for:
Mom come to Freckles
pick up your foot
walk with me and explore/assess/move/remove this thing
"I won't and you can't make me"
"I'm gonna and you can't stop me"
pull that grass for me it's too far away
locate the fallen fruit that is not rotting yet
lower the branches of various trees for eating access
scratch various places
groom for hours and hours
re-fill the water because Rocket spat a mouthful of half-chewed grass in there - yuckt
give the hot horse a shower
open this gate
there's something strange over there - go check if it is safe
and of course "Mom, look at me! Admire me! Look what I can do!"