I had that problem with one of my mares when I first got her. She didn't respect space, and if she was going somewhere she would expect you to move. She'd nearly given me a concussion a few times. I'd try to build a better foundation with ground work. If the mare goes to rub on you with her head then I'd do sort of a chicken-wing and continue until moves out of your space and then some. You don't have to go out of your way, it is just to teach them that is an uncomfortable place to be, why would you want to be there? And doing a chicken-wing elbow sort of flapping up and down when she gets in your space is different than just smacking her one. It is more rhythmic, and they have the choice of whether or not they want to be in that zone. Once they are out of your space the pressure is relieved.
I'm not the best at explaining it, but I've found it to work along with consistent ground work. The mare that I had this problem with is fifteen and considered completely broke. Which meant she was ride-able, so no one did ground work with her any more. I've come really far with her, to where she is more willing, and doesn't spend all of her time pinning her ears, bobbing her head, and looking for her next victim. Now she respects my space, but isn't head shy at all. I've had to whack her a few times, but she wasn't going to hesitate to run me over, either. Good luck, and remember these things take time, but you don't have to baby them through it, either. If another horse got up in the lead mare's business, said mare would have no problem dishing it out.
Also, on the whole mane dilemma; I am training a horse for a friend, and the horse's mane was rubbed off from the round bale feeder they have. My solution was to just chop the whole thing off so it grows in even. A bit extreme, but it is looking good on him so far and has grown out a good bit.
Last edited by ButtInTheDirt; 01-13-2013 at 01:48 PM.