you are aware it goes against instinct to even ride these animals? we are a predator and we are on their back. I dont believe we can completely push back a horses instincts, but we can teach them to think another way and not be so reactive to stimulus.. like horse mutilating plastic baggies, or soul sucking squirrels:)
I don't advocate beating the ever loving snot out of a horse for spooking at something or not standing stock still for grooming/saddling whatever because that just isnt fair or just, and ill use the "placing them back in the same spot" method if they are in a calm/kind of calm state of mind- BUT if they are reacting to something (in this case where my buddies at??!!??) or just being a dipstick and im in a position of about to be a grease spot- you bet your patooty i will use immediate and quick force to get that horse off of me. My horses are allowed to be horses but I expect them to be mindful of where im at. They do far worse stuff to each other than my kick/jab/growl...
So, you "teach them to think another way" by punching them, kicking them or growling at them? Really?
If you actually worked on pressure/release as you say you did, you would realize it is for more than leading. So, IF you really worked on it you would have no need to punch or kick......or even growl. Then you will most likely not be in a position (because you will have gained their respect, rather than fear) of being a "grease spot". Horses who respect you are extremely mindful of where you are, since you are the alpha. BUT- you have to do the ground work to get there.
When a horse is being dangerous, certainly I agree that you have to correct it, quickly and leaving no doubt who is the boss. But, once the groundwork is done, there should be RARE ocassions, if at all, that this is necessary.
I am not in the book reading outside the stall/in the pasture group, however, I do not want to use any more effort than neccessary on a daily basis for my horses to behave. So, I train them, not intimidate them.
We are all entitled to our opinions, and some will work better than others. However-I do agree the OP needs to take a hard look at how she is handling the horse. Period. I think her mood is affecting how the horse behaves, and I think she needs some help with ground training to gain respect, if she is not capable of doing it.
Sorry if anyone takes offense, but we are all supposed to be adults, and I am not one to mince words, so get your panties all bunched up if you like. Won't bother me a bit, nor will it change my opinion.