I don't allow any horse to rub his head on my body...ever... Think about it; he is 1100 lbs (give or take depending on his breed), and he has a head that is very large in proportion to your body even; why would you even WANT him to think it's acceptable to use you as a scratching post? A horse that is kind and simply asking for a scritch on the nose, or some petting, is a different story...but you have to know the difference, and even there, a horse can get pushy and demanding, so it's up to you to know what you will tolerate, and what YOU feel is rude, and intrusive of your horse. My mare for example is not usually the 'give me face lovin' type, but when she wants it, she simply looks straight into my eyes, and breathes gently in my face...we will usually just sit there like that looking at each other for awhile, while I stroke the sides of her cheeks.
I do similar to smrobs if I am in a position that I am working sort of at a 'distance' from the animal and he comes into my space...I simply back him out of my space, and I do it with meaning; I want him to know that he is to keep out of my space unless invited to do so. If I am working closely to him, I do like bsms, if I feel that head coming around, I simply raise my arm, and if he hits it, he hits it...he will quickly learn that he needs to just mind his own business regardless of what I am doing to him.
This does not mean any of my horses, or the horses I train lack any affection or attention, quite the contrary; when they are polite, and quiet while I am with them, they get lots of rubs, brushing, and all kinds of attention; but they do not get it when they demand it...ever; that usually winds up in work, which is not the kind of attention he will be looking for!
"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
Last edited by mom2pride; 12-11-2011 at 09:51 PM.