Now that being said, don’t go and throw out your brush box and buy a 50lb bag of carrots. There are still many benefits to physical contact with your horse, for both him and (maybe even more importantly) you. Spending time in close contact with your horses helps you learn more about them, what they are thinking, what they are feeling. The Umbrella Study showed us that horses can read our silent cues, but the more time we spend in the barn and in the saddle, the better we will be at picking up our horses cues.
So keep on brushing and hugging your horses but remember, if you really want to get him to do something, try some treats (as long as its in moderation).