Many, many years ago when I was a child, I went with my family to visit my father's cousin who lives in Parker, AZ near the London Bridge and Lake Havasu on the Colorado River. The day before a man was flying across the water (those jet powered boats barely touch the water) & lost control. The boat went under a pier and came out without the man's head.
I have an opinionated red mare. I don't force her to walk through puddles. I let her pick which side to go around and, if the puddle blocks the road, I let her pick her way through at her own speed. Going forward is not negotiable, but I'm willing to listen to her choice of the best way forward. Other horse people at the ranch have told me that I am spoiling her and I should make her walk through puddles.
I asked, "Can you see to the bottom of the puddle? Do you know how deep it is? Do you know if there are sharp rocks at the bottom? No, you don't. I'll let the horse use her horse sense to get me across safely."
I learned this lesson the hard way when I was 13 and had a little Shetland Pony/Arabian stud colt, both of us without any common sense or fear. We would gallop down the beach and jump driftwood - bareback (I didn't own a saddle). Then we jumped what looked like a small log of driftwood, but it turned out to be 3 feet lower on the far side, which we could not see from the approach. The landing wasn't pretty. His head went down between his front legs as he tried to catch his balance. That put me sitting on air, then falling on the sand in front of him. His back legs came down, one on my left knee and one in the middle of my back.
I couldn't ride for weeks. He needed to be exercised regularly or he became unruly. When he trampled the dog belonging to the people who were boarding him, he was given his walking papers and I had to sell him. Probably for the best as I was entering high school and needed to concentrate on my school work instead of spending every waking minute thinking about my pony. Don't feel sorry for him: He ended up being the stud for a herd of 200 mares owned by a man who provided ponies for the carnival kiddy pony rides. Yep, not even 4 years old and retired to a 1,000 acres and 200 mares.