Romy already gave you a link to many helpful topics so I'll only add some of my thoughts.
Ra is kept at grass with about 7 other horses, we have some great places to train, but all are grassy paddocks. How do others in this situation manage it?
You may find some helpful information about this here
Some days are great, he is very willing to play and loves some wild games. But most days he just wants to eat, he comes with me, but begrudgingly.
I would try to find out what he already likes to do and then would try to find a way to do it together. Therefor, I wouldn't focus on exercises. If it's primarly eating he likes this is useful to. Then you can try to find the best grazing spots for him or you can hide some treats on the ground and then walk around with him and show him where they are. I think it's great when you have a horse that is very food focused because it is easy to use the food to become interesting for the horse.
Do you use foodrewards? That may be very motivating for him
I'm having some difficulty starting... I have read a few books now, but none seem to quite satisfy what I hope to achieve. I know what I don't want to do, that part is pretty easy, but finding a way that I would like to follow is proving pretty hard. I see plenty of video of what I would like to be able to do with Ra, but finding a way to start...
I had the same problem some time ago. I read so many books and saw so many videos and they all showed amazing results. That made me think that I want to get there too and want to be able to do all these great exercises with the horse as well. The problem was that that totally blocked me from achieving anything at all. I was unable to see what was there already, to notice the horses actions and work with them. Instead I always focused on what was still missing and the plans I had in mind about how things should
work. For me, things never work as they "should"
. And that is great because it opens up a larger variety of possibilities than I could imagine before.
I wrote about how I exchanged the concrete plans in Avaris diary:
In the past I made the experience that it is very difficult to implement an exact plan I have for an exercise. While being focused on sticking to the plan I could not involve the horse's suggestions and responses to my cues anymore. By now I think that it is more important to listen to the horse and capture a movement it offers and than try to do what you did (when the horse offered the movement) again. That way we can develop exercises in a way that fits to us and at the same time we encourage the horse to offer movements/exercises on his own
It helped me a lot to read through the diaries and the threads about the exercises because it gave me an idea how they could be developed. Now I have many plan fragments in my mind and can put them together how it feels natural and logical at a given moment.
I can't give you an advice which exact way you should follow, I think only you can answer these question. But there are some other more concrete questions you can answer to get closwer to the way and maybe to find your personal new way:
What is the most important thing you want to achieve with your horse? If it is a big concept (for example friendship) than how do you define it and which concrete actions result from this concept? If it is something more concrete (for example riding) then which plan fragments could you try?
What feels good for you when you are with your horse, what are the moments you like? How do these moments arise and how could you increase the chance that they arise?
How do you want your horse to think and feel about you, what kind of person do you want to be for your horse? Which traits do you need to be these kind of person? Which concrete behaviour show these traits?
What is most important for me is to break down the fuzzy concepts into concrete behaviour from my side so I have something I can really do. And then I know where I have to start. This may not result into a concrete plan for an exercise but rather into a way I can let exercises arise from the context and the actions the horses already shows. I found out that it is great not to follow a way but to walk actively on my own even if I have to build a way first. So, maybe it's more about learning how to build a way than about how to find a way. And to learn how to build it we first have to choose the tools.
I hope the text isn't too mazy because I wrote it in a very loud school-library