I think you mean because they have been taught they can refuse.......
Are they to be punished for doing what they were taught?
See above hole in training...........
The horse needs to be taken back to basics and retrained. That does not mean just upping the ante in a coercive demand.
Since you agree that horses are very giving, you should see there is another avenue other than demanding.
I've read and heard many times that horses are creatures of habit. As I look around at my human companions, and myself, I question whether they are more so than us.
I agree with the ideal of always being 'nice' but, when you get a horse that has learned it can be mean and nasty and attack humans, refuse to go where asked but rearing, bucking and reversing then being 'nice' is not in the picture in my book.
You can go back to the basics, start afresh but the learned behaviour of not complying is still there and will not go away until the horse learns that the human is a) not frightened of it and b) can give as good as it gets - as would happen in a herd situation. Non compliance it's the herd leader would result in pain as the matter was sorted out. Either the horse would take a kicking from the leader or it would become boss horse.
I took in a mare in an emergency. Only when she was delivered was an warned that she had a reputation for being really mean and nasty. I turned her out with two brood mares. She was only a turn out livery. When I went to feed them that night my mares came to the gate as I drove up on the ATV with that the new mare charged the gate, ears flat back, mouth open and meaning to get me in no uncertain terms. Had she made contact I would have had a severe injury.
I drove back to the barn, picked up my rarely used twitch which was about half the handle of a pitchfork. I went back to the field and when the mare charged I hit her as hard as I could straight down the front of her face. My reaction being that if she wanted to hurt me I would reciprocate in no uncertain way.
She shot off to stand under some trees, I drove in, put the feeds and hay out. She stood well back and when I walked towards her she moved away. Fine by me.
Next day I couldn't catch her, I wanted to bring her in to handle her to see where the problems were. She followed the other two into the barns and I herded her into a stable. Then I could catch her. She was very wary of me but again I wanted that rather then attack mode.
This was a horse that had learned she could really frighten people and when she met a person who refused to back away, she was puzzled.
Her feet were a mess and she hadn't seen a farrier in months. I did a couple of adjustments to her neck and pelvis and turned he back out, leading her with the other two mares to the field. No problems. Next day I could catch her.
I asked her owner's husband if I could rode her and he agreed but refused to take responsibility for her - nearly two years since she had last been ridden.
She didn't want to go into the field with me on her back and reared. Not baby rears but vertical, I just sat on her and let her do it, she was tiring herself out I wasn't exerting any energy. She then realised that I wasn't going to get off her so decided to go. I didn't let her, made her stand there and wait for my commands.
Oh boy, was that mare trained. She was a dressage horse and I was getting movements that I wasn't asking for just because I had got sloppy with my riding.
I decided to just rode her around the block to cool her off and once on the road she was spookier than any of my youngsters - the slow sign written on th road was going to eat her and drains were terrifying but not as much as the sheep in a field.
I found out that the mare had been trained as a dressage horse. In several years she had never been ridden out of the arena. She was stir crazy,
I asked my farrier to trim her feet, which he did. After he had finished he was laughing and told me he had refused to show her because of her being downright dangerous. She did try it on with one hind leg but a quick "Eh!" from me and she corrected herself.
That mare stayed with me for several months. I rode her out on a daily basis, took her out with hounds and can honestly say that children could lead her around.
If I had not taken drastic action and let her know that a human could and would hurt her if she was in an attack mode, she would have ended up as dog food.