I agree with Loosie, this horse does not respect you. Not leading properly is dangerous, so you need to start there with basic groundwork. You need to pick a boundary that is your "bubble" and be 100% consistent about enforcing it. I do the arm waving thing too if my horse is crowding me, whether it be leading, on the ground, or in the cross ties, and it works extremely well. Or a quick elbow swung inconspicuously to connect as the horse steps towards you works wonders too. And the trick is to correct it right that moment, and immediately go on like nothing is wrong or ever happened. The horse also needs to be paying attention to where and what speed you are going. Lots of leading, turns, stopping & backing up, will help. The horse should be doing all of this on a slack lead rope, if you're having to pull and tug and push, you need to do more homework and be more firm with your requests.
The horse "asks" in small ways long before it ever disrespects you outright. The horse should absolutely not come into your bubble unless you have invited it. People think that when a horse gives "cuddles" or rubs on a person, that the horse is being cute, or friendly, or that the horse "loves them", but what is really happening is that horse is testing you, asking "Are you the one running the show here?" And if it's not corrected, the horse takes it as a "No", and it escalates little by little, until the horse is outright walking all over you. Horses look to us for guidance, and if they don't get it, they take charge. It's just how they're wired. That's not to say you can't ever pet your horse or gives them hugs and kisses, you absolutely can, but it has to be on YOUR terms and only when you allow it. I'm not a fan of hand feeding treats either, usually it will create a pushy horse, which then gets rewarded with a treat, which reinforces the pushiness, so then they get worse, and it snowballs.
So it's catching those little things, the little step towards you when tied must be corrected. You must require the horse to be paying attention to you 100% of the time. You can ask them for little things while grooming or tacking to reinforce the focus on you. Moving a bit over here, asking for a step back there. Requests, if not responded to in a timely manner, need to be reinforced. Like moving over in the cross ties, for example, a green horse of course gets a little more leeway and understanding while learning, but still is required to respond in an appropriate manner. My mare, who KNOWS about cross ties, and has been familiar with them for years? She gets asked once nicely, and then gets a big smack to move over. It usually doesn't take more than that to get my point across the odd time she "forgets". However, the next step after that has been the broom, which she has gotten a time or two. Big disrespects get big consequences. Less dramatic corrections for the smaller ones. The trick is learning to recognize and address the small issues, long before they ever become big ones.
And then it all translates to under saddle too. Ask, tell, demand. Catching the small things will help prevent things from escalating and having to deal with the major things a horse might do to disrespect you under saddle as well. Once they get to that point where they're ignoring and running all over you, you run the risk that if challenged, they may challenge you back, and that can be scary and dangerous. At that point you need an experienced horse person to deal with it, that's not territory that most people want to be in.
Last edited by albertaeventer; 05-28-2013 at 03:44 PM.