An incorrigible equine
Jaydee was correct in commenting that I had come to accept Joe for what he was - warts and all. It was a mistake for any rider/trainer to think that they could change the mindset of this type of horse. Joe's character had been set in earlier life by his experiences with humans - some of whom were impatient and heavy handed.
When eventually whilst out on a hack he whirled around and bolted in the opposite direction down a steep hill, then I had to come to terms with the fact that he was incorrigible - indeed perhaps 'lawless'. However he did himself a mischief by that act of rebellion - he tore a check ligament whilst galloping downhill. That incident sent him lame.
I was told by the vet that it would take a year or more for the tear to heal so I passed him back to the one human Joe had respect for. She had access to the moorland hillside which would slowly be the cause of the ligament repairing itself. Joe trusted the woman whom he had known all of his life. As for me, well to Joe I was just another gullible human who thought I could change him. I had tried to show him the error of his ways but in Joe there was a stubborn trait of character which directed his behaviour. His 'Mum' took him back and at first all went well and his ligament healed but it was a vulnerable tear. Joe was fit for walking and little more. She let him be ridden occasionally by a casual rider and to this day I wonder whether Joe had reverted to his old tricks of misbehaviour. Anyway at a very inconvenient time, he went lame again. His 'Mum' then gave instruction for him to be put down. There was little I could do to save him and even less that I could hope to do to change his attitude over the longer term. So, finally, Joe paid the full price for his waywardness.
I learned that it is a mistake to think we can change the nature of some horses either by training or the use of tiedowns. With some horses we humans face a challenge of wills and sometimes the horse will ultimately win through.
Joe, was one such horse - bless the blighter.