Should you allow your horse to rub their head on you? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Should you allow your horse to rub their head on you?

I've heard many people say yes or no to this, but never really have a good reason behind their answer.
My mare will rub her head on my butt or back after I take her bridle off sometimes, but if she gets too rough I push her away and she'll stop right away and won't try it again. Sometimes after I take off her bridle I'll rub her forehead for her, and she lets me, seems like she enjoys it.
Just wondering if you guys let your horses do this, or if you think it's a big no-no.
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post #2 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 08:43 PM
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I think that a little rubbing after a good workout is ok, but just randomly walking/leading, or during work, grooming, is not a good thing. at least imo.
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post #3 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 08:45 PM
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i would not allow it only because i am a small person and it hurts if they rub hard enough. i have a horse now we are leasing that does it constantly...its so annoying. im trying to get her to stop

good luck

Proud owner of Warren Bar's Nicki (29yrs), Walla Bee Good (22yrs), and Ced Rella Fella (TB ex racer)
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post #4 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 08:47 PM
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I would stop her from rubbing on you unless you want it to become a habit. Instead it would be better for you do the rubbing like you metioned. This will become a reward to her at the end of a ride. Also don't let her start "helping" you get the bridle off in order to get the reward. That is another common habit horses get into. It sounds like you have a good bond with her.
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post #5 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 08:53 PM
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Yeah, sometimes Daytona rubs her head after she's worked, but otherwise I don't allow it- that's invading our space. :) They need to know they can't get into our space.

Ride more, worry less.
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post #6 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LauraB View Post
It sounds like you have a good bond with her.

Thank you.
I'd like to think that I do.
A lot of people mention it, but I guess it's harder for me to see it myself.
I know that she trusts me, but sometimes I worry if she treats me more like a leader, her equal, or just someone that feeds her and rides her.
To me it seems we flow more towards equal but I'm not sure.
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post #7 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 08:56 PM
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I think it's fine to allow the horse to do it as long as they aren't too rough. If it does start to become too rough I simply back them up. End of story.

The reason I think it's okay is because this is a two-way relationship. A little for me, a little for him (in this case a scratch). Every time the horse tries to interact with me I don't want to shove him away. Are there times when backing the horse up is needed? Sure. But the better the relationship is the more respectful the horse will be....that's the way it's been with my horses.
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post #8 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 09:27 PM
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I let Sonny rub his head on me as long as he doesn't start rubbing too hard and it starts to hurt, then I'll back him up then give him a pet.
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post #9 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 09:40 PM
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i agree that it fine as long as they are gentle. my new mare rubs her head on you but she does it so gently. its actually very cute :)

my wb does it however and is so rough he has actually knocked me over once. hence i no longer allow it. i think with him it stems more from disrespect for me and my space therefore putting a stop to it is essential. with my mare i think she does it because gently rubs above her eyes are her favourite thing and when she rubs on me its mainly her eyes and she is so gentle about it it makes me think she just rubbing her sweet spot ;)

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"

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post #10 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 10:28 PM
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I don't allow it, but I rub him a lot if he seems to be in the mood.

I don't like having his head rubbing at me, and it's annoying to have a horse that tries to rub it's face while I change to a halter from the bridle or something, so I don't allow him to rub at all untill the halter is on and I don't ask for his attention anymore. (which I try to do as easily and quickly as possible when I know his face is itchy)

I don't mind when he rubs back at my hand and show where I should scratch tho :P

Another reason I don't like it isbecause I'm not a rubbing pole, I'm a person. When he rubs his head on me he's not paying attention to me and he's saying that I'm just somthing worth rubbing on right then.

Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.

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