Look, horses bite and kick each other because they are HORSES! THAT is the way they relate to each other. That is what THEY understand. They also have to learn what is and is not a REAL threat and will treat everything unfamiliar to them as a POTENTIAL threat until they determine one way or the other. Horses who are unfamiliar with sheep will treat this fellow "prey animal" as if it were a predator because they don't know that it isn't. Once a horse becomes familiar with sheep, it will not view it as a potential predator, but it won't view it as a fellow prey animal either - it will view it as a sheep! A sheep will behave like a sheep and all other sheep the horse encounters that smell and behave like a sheep will be identified as a sheep. He won't take each and every sheep thereafter as a potential threat each and every time he encounters one. And as for smelling like meat, I've seen horses eat hot dogs, lunch meat, even a hamburger. What makes you think they know what meat smells like or even what meat is? Let's not make things any more complicated than they have to be - horses are horses. They act like horses. They behave like horses. And if you understand HORSES, then it doesn't matter what YOU are. They will NEVER treat you like a predator unless YOU BEHAVE LIKE ONE! I seriously doubt that horses stand around worrying whether or not the next human they meet is the one that is going to eat them! They have never seen a human leap on a fellow herd mate and rip him to shreds. I think horses view us the way the view us and no one really knows what that is. I don't think they see us as predators...I think they see us as something they have to deal with, because in that regard, they don't have a choice and that's about it.
I generally agree with what you are saying,but feel that I must expand on it a bit.
Horses and survivors and adapt and react to the environment that they are in to a large degree.
If I place a young filly into a field that is too small, with three half wild geldings,then I will have a different horse from the filly that I put in with three mellow,older mares that are in a much larger field.
If I place a herd of geldings in a small pasture that is over crowded and under feed the group,then I am placing stress on the group and the herd reacts to the environment that they are in.
If I place a really bad herd boss in with a group and the boss is nervous and a bully,then that effects the whole group.
If I take a horse that has been housed in a 12x12 stall their whole life and throw them out into a herd,then the disorientation of the horse can make all the other horses nervous and change the overall environment.
There are herds that kick and bite and use force all the time.
There are herds that are managed a little better and are VERY peaceful.
Force is not necessary because they have what they need.
The animals need for force can be environmental.
Just like human society.