I just read most things, I've opened this tread a lot of times, but never got trough reading them all. I think it's a very difficult question.
I love my horse deeply and I'm not trough thinking about it at all, I don't know what I want, or how I want everything to be.
Let me try to explain. Beau is great, but he too is a very self confident, certain horse. And because he was born where he lives now, knows my and the stable owner very good, he is a bit spoiled. I notice the difference a lot looking at Brutus. Beau tends to test things out and because he is not afraid he goes much further then Brutus, he will just climb over a wheelbarrow to get out of the stall, because he's not afraid and well, it's possible. Brutus will never do that. There are a million things like that. So when we do things together he will start of 'normal' then push it a bit further and then just go way over the line of what I can 'allow' him to do. he likes to go up to cars and sniffle them... which is great... and then before you know it he'll put his foot on it... He does it with saddling, well, with everything.
Then I try to set some boundaries and when I do this, he just gets really bored. and gets a lot less interested in doing things with me.
And then sometimes I get too pushy... But that is because, and I know I should not do this
I think, ok, I listen to you a lot and give you much freedom and then you sometimes do things I really do not want ( like opening the stall door and walking trough the stable and not going in again, or other way around, escaping from the pasture to walk around in the stalls and not wanting to go out. Then I think, ok, you sometimes get your way so I get mine.
And then I want to go for a ride and he does not hate me for it, he just stands there dead-bored. Or he wants to do 20 jambettes but not walk next to me and when I take hold of the cordeo, or halter, and do not pull it, he followes with this bored look.
Then I do not know what our relationship is about, I want the two of us to be ourselves and respect one another, and therefor sometimes do things we wouldn't do. Because for me, letting Beau say no every time results mostly in doing everything he wants and nothing I want. Now with the testing of Josephas saddles, I just pick him out of the pasture sometimes and saddle, he comes to me walks in, lets me saddle him and ride, but then he decides thats enough and will not play much anymore. He's like a teenager saying ok I'll go with you to my grandparents but I will feel bad all week.
This is again too much I've written. Because I do not know if our relationship will develop in a good way this way.... But this is at the moment how we do it. Sometimes my idea sometimes his, and a lot of times not doing anything until we both want to.
Just one short thing... I used to spend a lot of time with Brutus and he is not so sure, and wants to do EVERYTHING for you to be happy, he'll be the perfect horse, and with him everything was great, he will trust your ideas, he comes from a harsh trainer and is just happy to say what he does not like but he'll find a lot of things fine... So it will depend on the horse ... and that's even more difficult!