What do you let your horse get away with?

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by RelaxMax, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. AceTrick

    AceTrick Senior Member

    Jan 29, 2014
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    Affectionate gestures are considered spoiling a horse but the extremes we go to and the things we buy for them aren't?? Crazy! :p

    My horses are spoiled rotten I suppose. My mare is the only one who will rub her face on me- I know, the evilest. She's never pushed me over or been forceful about it, and it's usually on my arm or side or thighs. I'm definitely aware that a head toss could break my nose or what have you, but that's why I keep my face at bay. (Yeah accidents happen)

    When I'm just hanging around with them in the pasture, I let them "crowd my space". I'll be sitting and reading and they'll be right above me lookin' at me like "wat doin down there???". All it would take is a single spook and I'm sure I'd be tromped over. It's funny though, my geldings walk so gingerly around me. But out and about, or when my cousins come over to pet them, all 3 are absolutely on their best behavior and remember their manners.

    They all also love zippers on my jackets or strings on my pants. They love mouthing it around. No one has pulled or attempted to eat it yet so I'm saying so far so good. I think they like the sound of the zipper and just fiddling with loose things.
  2. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

    May 15, 2014
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    Sublime is incredibly affectionate, so I often times cuddle him. He likes to rest his head on my shoulder a lot and I let him. Every time before I bridle him he always rests his shoulder on me and sometimes pulls me in to him and puts his head on my chest. He also likes to put his teeth on your hand. Like if you show him the palm of your hand, he will put his mouth against it and lift his lips so that his teeth are just resting against your palm. Not sure why he does it, but he always has and hasn't ever bit me. I'm still careful when he does that though.
    He is also a piggy, so when it is grain time he pins his ears and looks at you like he hates you and how dare you not bring his food sooner! I don't care if he makes faces as me, as long as he moves out of my way so that I can get the grain in his bin. He has learned to move into the corner and will wait for me to dump it and walk away before he eats. All the while he is pinning his ears and looking miserable haha.
    He's kind of one of those horses that if you let him get away with too much he'll take advantage, especially with people who don't understand horses. But he backs off immediately if you show him you've had enough. It's a fine line between fun and pushy.

    I don't let Rain get away with as much. I think mostly because she hasn't been in our barn for as long so I'm still more cautious. She's very affectionate too, but I'm more careful with her.
    RelaxMax and Dona Worry like this.
  3. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2014
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    It's funny too the different things different horses will push too far. Neither of mine go overboard on the rubbing thing so I allow it. They only do it briefly after a ride and it's not a big deal to me.

    Bella doesn't go overboard on the letting her walk out of her gate before I halter thing but Sparky would. I don't EVER let him do that because he'll take it and run with it and the next thing you know, he's crowding the gate and being pushy. He has to stand quietly until I ask him to come out every time.

    Bella has to behave on the lead every time or she'll get obnoxious, start pulling or getting in my space. Spark is not a problem on the lead. I can let him stop and sniff poop or snack on some grass without it turning into an every-time thing. Not Bella.

    Bella gives kisses. I have NEVER encourage that in a horse and I've never even considered asking Spark (he wouldn't get it anyway) but she is gentle and light and only gives them when asked.

    And I hand feed both of them treats because they are both very polite and never obnoxious. They don't beg, and they don't snatch. I don't give them tons of treats but they always get a carrot or peppermint after a ride and they're not rude at all about it.
  4. gaitedboomer

    gaitedboomer Senior Member

    Jan 26, 2009
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    I have to keep my two separated because one is bully and picks mercilessly at the IR horse.

    The manure pile is way out in the far pasture in a "bowl". A few times a week the bully horse will "hold me up" when I'm headed back to the barn with an empty cart. He is smart enough to run out in front of me, when I'm on the way back, because he's learned I won't stop to give him cookies until I empty the cart:)

    I use those Manna Pro treats that look like mini Tootsie Rolls. He will stand politely in front of the 4-wheeler while I feed him three cookies. He knows the count of 1-2-3, and he knows what it means when I face-Palm him and say "talk to the hand".

    Most of the time he politely moves away but sometimes he will stand still, hoping I forgot the rules. Then I have to tap my finger in his chest and ask him to move.

    I'm down to my last two horses. We have a few hard and fast no exceptions rules, we have some "I'll meet you half way" rules, and we have the cookie game rules. The most important thing they know is that they will behave perfectly for any professional that works on them or there will be heck to pay:)
  5. GotaDunQH

    GotaDunQH Senior Member

    Dec 19, 2008
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    I don't ever let mine rub their heads on me because I'm not a tree or a scratching post. Sidney gets itchy behind his ears after I ride, so I scratch this area for him. He knows rubbing on me is not tolerated so he tips his head so I can scratch.
  6. pamnbam

    pamnbam Senior Member

    Aug 3, 2010
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    Luna always gets an itchy face after a ride, but I bring out her special towel and scratch her with that after I take off the bridle. She loves it!

    I don't let any horses (mine or others I'm handling) get away with much. If I notice it, it gets corrected. With my old TB mare, I never corrected anything and she was the type to take a mile if you gave it to her. I was very unhappy with her, and I didn't know any better. Now, I'm wise to these equines, and I don't want to know which ones are "safe" to give an inch to, so I don't let any of them get away with anything. I've learned my lesson.
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  7. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

    May 11, 2016
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    I have been trying to think of what I let my mare 'get away with', and I can't think of anything. On the ground and in her stall, she doesn't really try to get away with much of anything. She will occasionally relapse into not wanting me to pick up her left hind foot for cleaning, but if I give her a short break and redo her other feet, she relaxes and picks it up just fine.
    She lets me dump her food into her dish without rushing, and she is respectful of a halter and lead rope to a fault.
    She has never tried to rub her head on me, snatched a treat from my hand, or offered to bite.
    I keep on the baby about most things, (mostly CROWDING INTO MY SPACE ) and the morgans can't have an inch or they will take a mile, but thankfully, my mare isn't pushy on the ground or in her stall.
  8. SparkleDust

    SparkleDust Senior Member

    May 23, 2013
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    I let my horses get pretty close. I cuddle and lean all over them, both to desensitize them to it and because I like it :p They can sniff me while I do this, but if they start to move away/closer without a cue then I will get after them.

    They can rub their head on my hand/brush if I offer, but I typically don't let them rub *on* me. I used to let horses rub on me when I was young, but I got pushed over/clocked in the face enough to decide I'm not a fan. I don't weigh much so an unexpected rub could knock me off balance pretty easily.

    I don't let them get away with much else that I can think of. They know their manners. If they get disrespectful, I remind them of their manners. They're very well behaved.
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  9. noreins

    noreins Senior Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    I'll let Hooker rub his face on me after a ride. Nothing else, but I've had him 9 years and know it doesn't "open the gate" to anything else.
  10. lucky_pine

    lucky_pine Senior Member

    May 31, 2005
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    Rubbing on me is an absolute no no. Doesn't matter how polite and respectful the horse is, I consider it rude behavior and won't tolerate it.

    I let Babe chew her lead ropes while tied, she could graze while on the lead only if I gave permission. I didn't let her get away with anything, really. And it's been like that with every horse I've ever owned or worked with. They can do whatever they want in the 22hrs they are in the pasture. Time with me means time for business, and I stick to that.

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