Imagine yourself pulling a dog who doesn't want to walk. The dog is refractory, or stubbornly resisting your authority.
The word refractory comes from a Latin word meaning "obstinate" and can also be used to mean "not responsive to something." If you have a cold you can't shake, you could say you have a refractory cough. The word can also be used to describe a material that maintains its strength at very high heats. The outside of a space shuttle is made of refractory material, so that it can reenter the atmosphere without burning up.