Another thing to do is to talk to your horse. I commented to him about this gorgeous mare who was passing by and Veritas's ears flicked back, and he seriously noticed, did a head flick too. They understand their names for sure too.
Remember how the cowboys walk in old westerns? They look like they had been constipated for two days? Thats coz they sit in such a way that their legs form an O; the legs almost hug the belly of the horse wherein they realize there is someone atop 'em + it helps balance. So said my self absorbed buddy who thinks he is omniscient. Turns out my buddy has quite a wikipedia shaped brain, though I'm not entirely sure what it's filled with. Big hug to you when/ if you read this, little starling :-). He also had another interesting point to make:- Basically we are taught by walking the horse in a large circle, and occasionally our horse teacher would tell us to cut through the middle and walk the horse anti clockwise for a change. Starling suggested to ensure the horse didnt cut corners, and to loop around a corner again if it wouldnt listen and try to cut corners and do a smaller circle. He also suggested to surprise it with little 360 degree turns while we were walking so it was aware there was someone atop it who it should heed, and not let it get mindnumbed with monotonous circles. Nice ideas that I can't wait to try out.
Feed the little bugger a carrot after you ride him. Don't underestimate the power of having them associate the sweet goodness of carrots with yourself.