Dear Faye - I think that depends higly upon how respect is defined. As I understand the word respect it has everything to do with feeling safe, because I am talking about that very sensitive kind of respect which a leading mare is earning in the hedr - without fighting and mocking. If that is the reason for lying down I have no problem with that, but if we talk about a dominant horse that refuses to lie down and is being taught to do so on command, then I insist that this is in the horses sense as close to humiliation as we can get in using that word in connection to horses (I agree that is not directly applicable in our own understanding). I quote you: "Horses will not volentarily lie down infront of a person unless they feel safe
that is very different from respect. On the floor they are at thier most vulnerable to predators and they cannot get up quickly, hence most horses will not stay lieing down when a person who they do not feel safe with is around." Apparently the horse was not feeling safe, and in my inderstanding that is the same as saying it was not respecting the human being (respecting in a positive sense - no involvement of punishment, pressure or any kind of negative influences)
"Lieing a horse down will not turn him into a robot, it will teach him that even at his most vulnerable humans will not hurt him and it is safe to put his trust in this person. Once they trust humans again then respect for the leader of the herd (i.e the Human) will follow very quickly." I do not agree - you cannot TEACH a horse to FEEL SAFE! You can only demonstrate to the horse that you have the capacity to protect it - and I mean very sensitively and gently - literally without any kind of pressure - then he will respect and trust you and thus feel safe! And then I agree that he might perhaps even lie down and feel comfortable about it.
I admittedly think you are a bit quick in your judgement of how much I know about the horse's brain, considering that my post was very brief and saying very little about that point. But of course you are entitled to think what you may like about my knowledge of horses.