Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares
I'll go against the crowd and say that I don't think it has anything to do with respect or getting in your space...the horse is simply trying to scratch on something...nothing more complex than that. That doesn't mean you have to allow it, however. If you don't want to allow it, just push the horse away. No big deal, IMHO.
I agree with this. HOrses dont' think like, "I'm going to disrespect here, think I'll rub on her." the horse just has an itch. Int he absense of ever being told not to, he will try to rub on the closest thing available; you. In the herd he would rub on a buddy/peer level horse, but probably not on a dominant horse. So, in my opinion, he is veiwing your as buddy or peer, or subordinate BUT, what matters is that it's not a good idea to allow the horse to rub on you, certainly not when he chooses to do it.
The horse has an itchy face after a sweaty ride. I allow the horse to rub, but I get a towel, hold it up and then allow him to rub when I am ready, never just rub on me any time he wants to.