I know for myself it has varied thru the years. But right now I would say that it is connecting with them so I understand what they are trying to tell me.
I am fortunate that I do have a strong bond with my horses already, but I am not always picking up on what they are laying down for me. Sometimes it is a matter of me slowing down and not being so focused on the task at hand. What do you find is the challenge you have?