I had a friend, who bought a horse, she could "ride" but wasn't really that horsey. Most here will understand what that means I imagine.
She had told me she was having trouble getting in the gate to feed, and that the horse had gone after her dog, and now was going after her, he had even rolled her, and was mean in the stall now too, she had called to see if I would feed him and other pets while they were away for something or other.
Told me horse was mean, and to be careful.
Went out first morning to feed, and here he was at the gate, ears pinned flat, snaking his head at me. I put the bucket down and got a pecan limb, long enough it had branches, leaves and green pecans, *storm had brought it down*...I picked it up.
Grabbed bucket and went to gate and here horse was acting like a fool. I shook branch at him, low around knee height, and his ears came up and he backed off. I went through gate, and proceeded to back him all over that pasture, wouldn't let him come up to barn if could help it, if he did make it up there, I drove him away, when I decided to let him eat, I dumped feed in stall, and then stood in door keeping him out.
At any point if he pinned ears, snarled that lip up, gave me the drop dead look or snaked his head, he was chased off from barn and not even allowed to approach it or the water trough.
Only when he approached with a pleasant expression, was he allowed to come in and even then I sent him out of the stall when I felt like it.
When she got back, he didn't revert to his normal behavior with her, but as I told her, she had to remember who wrote the check.
It is a fallacy to equate horses behaving with "love/trust/bond" as that is not how they think nor how they operate.
A horse that is allowed to show attitude, is one that will hurt you.
Horses make me a better person.