Thank you all for your input, thoughts, and advice. I totally agree that a horse should not be "cowboyed" or "dominated"...unfortunately the grim reality out here in this "neck of the woods" is that people are extremely ignorant towards advances in techniques and methodologies (I'm talking like 1800's....). People around here view animals as beasts of burden and not the gentle, graceful, intelligent herd animals which they are.
When I was riding this horse, I tried to do what I could with what I was taught growing up, but as TXHorseman stated, I believe this horse was just taught to run and be yanked, and therefore, has no knowledge of pressure, commands, etc. :(
It's truly disheartening, I can only seek more advice and support on this forum from like-minded individuals with a heart.
I don't know how I can communicate with a horse that doesn't know or understand how to be communicated with :( I have been fine on other horses....*sigh*
Anyone who rides a horse is speaking a different language. Even if two people appear to be using the same cues, differences such as length of legs, weight, etc. would introduce differences equivalent to different dialects or accents. Therefore, anyone riding a new horse should try to help the horse come to understand the language the rider is speaking. This is best done in a relaxed atmosphere.
If a person does not understand what another person is saying, it seldom helps if the other person simply yells the same words more loudly. It is better if the person trying to communicate tries to explain things a little bit differently.
When working with a horse, gentle guidance helps prevent tension which tends to interfere with communication. An example of how to develop communication with a horse would be to sit calmly and apply a light pulling pressure to the side with one rein while releasing pressure on the opposite rein. If the horse simply resists, just keep the pressure light and steady. If the horse pulls its neck the opposite way, go with it rather than fighting. When the horse relaxes, apply the pressure again. When the horse shows the least indication of understanding and responding correctly, release any pressure. Build the language of communication from there.
This is just one example of how communication can be established in a calm manner. You should be able to figure out other "words" for your communication. Just remember that learning comes easier in a relaxed atmosphere.
A horse that has been handled roughly may, at first, seem resistant to learning any language a human uses in an effort to communicate. As the horse begins to understand that this person is actually trying to communicate in a reasonable manner, the horse normally begins making an effort to understand more and more. The horse will begin to respond much more quickly and readily to this person than to one who uses force to demand compliance.