Originally Posted by valleychick2121
For her respect of me, believe it or not, I've already tried the whole elbow in chest/shoulder etc to get her to give room, but she persists, its like she has the skin of a tank, lol. Nothing fazes her in that regard. Do you think the problem could be that I spoiled her too much?
As an aside, I don't think this behaviour *necessarily* has anything to do with respect - eg. Teaching a horse to stay out of your space doesn't make them respect you. Likewise, it's not 'disrespecting' you just because she has learned in the past that it's OK to mug you.
Re 'spoiling' her too much, I suppose it depends. IMO that's one of the things pets are for, aren't they??
But if you 'spoil' them when they're being 'bad mannered' then you're reinforcing that behaviour - it works, so they're more likely to keep doing it. Being aware of what behaviours are happening at the time of reinforcement(treats, scratchies, Good Stuff...) and being utterly consistent with NEVER reinforcing the undesirable behaviour is the most important thing to keep in mind.
If the horse has had a lot of practice being reinforced for this behaviour, she has learned that it works for her, and discouragement will make her initially just try harder(Like a whiny kid in a lolly shop). The more practice she's had, the more likely it will get worse before it goes away. You have to weather this 'storm' and stay consistent until this response is eliminated.
If her crowding behaviour is 'difficult' - eg. You use your elbow or sharper(could try holding a spur...) whenever she's in your space, and you ensure the behaviour never works for her(it's never reinforced), she'll eventually stop it.
If you also train a conflicting desirable behaviour, such as take a step back & stay at arms reach, making sure that this behaviour is often reinforced, this will make the process of eliminating the 'bad' behaviour quicker & easier, as well as reinforcing to the horse that you're still a nice person to be around.