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Starting with a clean slate is an easy undertaking compared to a horse whose brain is addled...or worse.  Mary Twelveponies said it best with the title of one of her books: 
There are No Problem Horses, Only Problem Riders.  
She's mostly correct, her sentiment is spot on, but unfortunately there are "problem" horses, but it more often than not, because the human caused it!

Too many horses get sold "down hill" - many because of injury true, but far too many because of the total breakdown of communication between rider and horse to the point that the horse has unnerved its owner with intimidation and fear. 

Some owners try stronger bits and artificial aids to make up for the deficit of knowledge, but once that horse has been introduced to a bad habit it's hard to break - especially when rewarded by being left alone.

A lot of people are delusional in their emotional judgement of their horse - to anthropomorphize ones steed is one of the most foolish thought processess for one simple reason, the horse is not a human!  To attribute human emotions to a quadruped is misguided and potentially dangerous.

While not stupid, horses are simple minded creatures: herbivores with a very strong sense of flight or fight reflexes; it is our mission to overcome their fear, and gain their trust and respect so that we can handle them safely.

But once they've been abused they're a lot more difficult to convince. Undoing the wrong, blanking out the slate and redesigning to fit our needs is challenging, and patience and tenacity along with skill is parmount to succeed...but it can be done.

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