...The stricter I had become, the greater was his resistance, When months later during one of his first rides after recovering from his lameness that he dumped me again I realised that the relationship between him and me was breaking down. I couldn’t trust him any more to want to carry me safely. I‘d made a serious mistake in not leaving him with his pride...
Both the Arabian mare I sold and the one I kept are what I call "Please and Thank You" horses. They are mostly willing and sympathetic, but it is critical to leave them with their pride. The mare I kept is the lead mare. Even when she was sold (before meeting me) and put into a pasture with much larger and dominant geldings, she wouldn't give in. She lost 150 lbs (900 down to 750) but was still willing to fight them - and a 1500 lb gelding can deliver far more punishment than I can!
So she was returned, and ended up with me. Handling her probably requires more judgment than I have. She is very friendly with someone she knows & likes, and very stand-offish with strangers. It is OK to insist she does something (provided she understands what you are asking), but it needs to come with a Please & Thank You. There is some element of respect and sympathy that needs to be conveyed, even while insisting she obey.
A part of it is learning to read her, so I can push her a bit beyond her comfort zone, but not so far that she feels bullied. If I ever think, "Dammit! You're GOING to do this!"...we're finished. Now we're fighting, and she would as soon die as give in.
For example, suppose I need to get her past a terrifying trash bag. If I take the approach of making the wrong thing difficult, I might try to work her hard until we get past the object. But even if we get past it that way, I will have established in her mind the idea that the trash bag means "Fight!"
Instead, I need to calm her past the scary thing. Have her back up (or disengage, followed by a backup). Calm. Take a few steps forward. Calm. Do a "Head down". Wait until she has accepted the idea that she can be 15 feet from the trash bag. Then 5 feet forward, stop and calm. In small steps, ease her up to the scary thing. Then stand there and calm her while as close as we can get. THEN we can go on by, and she'll accept that it isn't scary, and that I'm not a bully. And the next time we encounter something scary, she is more willing to trust my judgment.
My Appy gelding is closer to a "Dammit" horse. He is terrified of physical punishment, but he accepts hard work as a rebuke. If you are too polite with him, he'll decide you are weak and not to be trusted. When pushed too far, he doesn't rebel so much as he just becomes afraid and mindless. However, if you actually get angry, it is all over. He may obey you out of fear, but he won't give you an honest effort and he may try to dump you - if he thinks he can.
I've met true "Dammit" horses. They need to be told, "My way or the Highway". The ones I've met were lesson horses or ranch horses. Perhaps experience had taught them that humans are incapable of having a relationship. Perhaps their temperament was that way. I don't know. But all they cared about was, "Will you make me? Or not?"
I've seen the same continuum with dogs and people. Some people need to be inspired. Most accept punishment if it is deserved and proportionate. And some just want to know, "Can you make me?"