This was something that was said to me by a fabulous British instructor in Hong Kong (we lived there for 2 years in 2013-2015). I didn’t really get it then and didn’t need to since I was rarely in a horses stall while taking lessons there (you show up and your horse is saddled and ready to go). But boy did I understand the meaning once I brought Moe back to the barn!
I would open the stall and give Moe a treat, love on him and baby talk….and yes I would “snog” him. But soon I realized these things were expected all the time so when I was ready to “work” he was still trying to get his treats. The foot stomping, asking/demanding another treat escalated to nipping at me and quickly turned to biting!
Like with a horse, if you start a bad habit in a relationship then that bad habit becomes expected (ie. Giving too much). How many times have you been nice to someone and they’ve taken advantage of you? For me, the times are countless. I’ve learned to ease into my new relationships instead of jumping in with my hand held out.
Take some advice from a dumb blonde, teach people not to take advantage of you by not giving “treats” every time you see them.