Disrespectful behavior? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Disrespectful behavior?

If a horse has an itch, and starts rubbing it's head on you, do you count this as being disrespectful?
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 09:07 AM
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I sure do. A horse is a big animal. They could hurt us vary easy if they wanted to. So we teach our horses to respect the space around use. My horses know to wait for me to put the halter on then they can scratch on the fence all they want.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 09:22 AM
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I don't consider it disrespectful, but if you don't want them to do it, push/chase them away. You make the rules. Just be consistent.
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 09:48 AM
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No - they just have an itch - they feel comfortable enough with you to share body contact and want you to help them out just like a pasture mate. Everyone has their own personal limits to the relationship they like to have with their horse and that is perfectly fine. Me personally, I like that type of interaction with my horses so I don't mind them scratching an itch or licking my arm or trying to steal my hat. When it is time to get to business, they are very respectful and know their job. As many of my old rancher friends would cringe to hear me say, my horses are 'pets' and not just 'horses' and I enjoy them that way.

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post #5 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 09:50 AM
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The way I see it is where to horses rub their heads? Walls, trees, fences... So pretty much they are treating you like a wall, tree or fence, which I am certainly none of the above. I will itch my horses face but I never let them drag it on me!
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 10:23 AM
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This is something you have to be really careful about. If you openly encourage your horse to do it and then that behaviour becomes a problem you end up having to punish the horse for something you have actually trained it to do by allowing it to think its OK
There has to be a divide between me giving my horses face a scratch and the horse treating me like tree trunk and pushing on me - something that will just spread into general behaviour
As someone else said - they are big powerful animals and if they do this with a small child for example then its likely to cause an accident
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 11:06 AM
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It can be and it can't be. Sometimes it depends on the person. My horse does the same thing. Only he knocks me over - but he doesn't mean to. I just lean into him, eventually all my pressure will get it impossible for him to scratch his head, he he moves it. So far he's doing pretty good about it. Sometimes I let him rub me, because we've had a long day and he deserves to do something "bad." It's not really bad though, I mean, I take it as he loves/likes me enough to do it on me. He doesn't do it on my mom, only on me. So that's kind of our special thing sometimes.

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post #8 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 11:07 AM
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@ clippityclop: yes, my horse will do it on other horses butts.... don't know why, but he does.

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post #9 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 03:25 PM
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Depends. I let Ellie have a good nose scratch on me after riding, but I have to let her know that it's ok. She can't just walk up and decide to use me for a scratching post.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 03:58 PM
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I'll give Geoff a good scratch behind the ears after his bridle is off, but if he tries to initiate the itching then its game over. And he is not allowed to scratch when is bridle is on - we would not stay friends long if he killed it.
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