Rubbing head ... on ME! - Page 2

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Rubbing head ... on ME!

This is a discussion on Rubbing head ... on ME! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    03-04-2008, 12:06 AM
I understand that rubbing on him when I want to and rubbing when he wants to can be confusing. That is why I am asking for help if the two can happen independently of each other. My boy is VERY pushy with food, he gets NO food as treats. His biggest reward with his previous owner and with me has been lovin' not treats or food. I don't want to take this from him if I don't have to. I think I will try being stronger with him when insisting he NOT rub on me first before I take away rubbing altogether.

Has anyone else had a horse whose primary source of positive reinforcement was lovin' and not food??? I know you are out there!
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    03-04-2008, 03:03 AM
Use a towel. This will show him he can only rub when the towel is in hand. And make it so you are rubbing him , he might rub back but as long as you are making the movments too.

My horse Foxy is a terrible one for this, he particularly loves to do it to my mum, lol.

But yea I did find the towel helped. And they fact that when he tried to rub on me I would say no!, would usually doge his head before he actually rubbed me any way. He isnt so persistant with me as he is to people he knows don't quite know enough to stop him properly. And if there is me and someone else he always trys it on the other person, hehe.
    03-12-2008, 12:48 AM
Personally, I think the best method to deal with rubbing horses is to back them up. I've taught two of my horses not to rub on me this way.

Basically, when they start to rub on you or get too close, just back 'em up. They can't rub on you if they are out of your personal space. If you stand still and wiggle your rope (sometimes with vigor) the horse will back-up. It helps if you can back them up like this as opposed to pushing on them because horses tend to push back. The horse needs to learn not to come into your personal space unless invited. When you want to rub on them, invite them closer. If your persistent it will work.'s great for your back-up.
    03-12-2008, 01:28 PM
Another method is when he's rubbing on you, rub him back but just a little bit harder than he is asking, he'll go "Ahh too much!" and back off.
    03-12-2008, 04:48 PM
Another method is when he's rubbing on you, rub him back but just a little bit harder than he is asking, he'll go "Ahh too much!" and back off.
I like it...reverse phycology!
    03-12-2008, 10:25 PM
Yeah, if they get too close so they can rub, I just wiggle my finger at them and they back up out of my personal space. No fussing, no effort, just respect. Ah, life is good. Lol
    03-15-2008, 03:32 PM
I have a gelding who absolutely loves to rub his head on people. He is big and strong and it just became too much. So we decided to only allow him to be rubbed after a ride, before we put his halter back on. If he tried to do it at other times we would simply step back and say no. He has learned that he is no longer to rub his head on us.
    03-16-2008, 02:43 AM
My gelding is the head rubber, his old owner thought it was "cute" that he rubbed on her. I HATE it! So when I first got him everytime he went to rub on me, I drew my hand up fast and said "DAT!" Which means back off or up, or go away. Slick is pretty smart, he's voice command trained and knows quite a few. He's a space hog but he's also VERY social in nature so he's always up in your business and wants to know what's going on.

However he does have this one thing he does, after we ride and take his bridle off he HAS to rub his head. He used to rub on me, but using the above said methods I taught him to rub on his own self! He now rubs on his front left leg and then brings his head and puts it in his halter when he's finished. IF I don't let him rub like that he gets all pissy! Yeah, he's weird! ;)
    03-18-2008, 12:57 AM
I had a long discussion with my horse today about that issue. It was after a long workout and I wanted to take his bridle off. Every time I would be about to reach by his ear to take it off he would try to start rubbing his head on me.
I can't stand that. I find it very rude because he rubs quite hard. It too me a good 15-20 mins of just standing there before he realised that as long as he kept trying to rub his head on me, I would not take his bridle off.

Ahhhhh the joy of having babies.
    03-18-2008, 07:12 PM
Well, I have been avoiding those situations where I know he is likely to rub. Whenever I see him bringing his head in for a hard rub, I have been sticking out my elbow or my knee, and he has been stopping (temporarily) as to not bump himself....until yesterday! After I dismounted from our ride yesterday, I was walking him to the gate of the arena. I stopped to open the gate (which coincidentally is one of those rubbing times), saw his head coming into my leg for a rub, stuck my knee out and he popped himself in the eye. He licked his lips and thought about it for a minute and that was it, no more attempts! We'll see if he remembers this lesson tomorrow!

I am really liking all of these suggestions, gives me lots of arsenal for my bag of tricks!

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