Originally Posted by faye
Unfortunatly horses brains are not wired to accept the above form of punishment. They will not associate nasty faces with food being taken away.
They will however assiciate having the bucket wraped round thier front legs at speed or being backed off rapidly. Punishment with horses needs to be instant and easily associated with the bad behavior. You have 3 seconds to punish a horse, any longer than that and the horse will not associate the punishment with the bad behavior.
Didn't check out the second page of replies, but I wanted to reply to this specific post.
This was my mentality for most of my equestrian life, and in general, still is. If a horse is acting outright dangerous, they need a quick reprimand to break their focus and sort of "spook" them back to reality. However,
I have recently learned through a horse that is almost exactly like the OP's horse, that not all horses are jerks because they are intentionally being mean. Some horses have absolutely no confidence in themselves and don't know where they stand in a herd. They only know how to imitate dominant behavior without actually being dominant, so they will practice whenever possible on the only target they have: the human. A horse like this needs a strong herd leader to show it the ropes and to build its confidence. The main sign to me in the OP's first post that this horse is insecure is that it will neigh when the OP gets too far out of its sight. This is a sign, to me, that the horse is insecure with being alone and doesn't know how to handle itself.
The horse I am dealing with is currently being re-trained with the mindset that she is less of an abusive, dangerous jerk, and more of a child who is too scared to go into the haunted house, so it's throwing a fit. Either way the horse is being rude/dangerous, but the intent is what I think needs to be judged here. This horse has no respect for the OP or anyone, as it has no confidence in itself. When the OP begins to act like a herd leader and show the horse right and wrong (ie pinning ears is wrong, standing calmly is right), the horse will begin to build its confidence.
Personally, I would send this horse away to a trainer that has a herd with a solid dynamic, so this horse can learn how to act like a horse. I wouldn't bother attempting to ride this horse or even teach it ground manners until it knows how to behave in a herd. Once it appears that the horse has learned its place, then I would begin again with ground manners and work up to riding.
Unfortunately the only way I see to help the OP and their horse is to send it away to someone who has a lot more experience. If the training bill is too steep, then the horse needs to be sold. This horse will only rot if it is left to continue acting like a human child.