My horse is invading my space; I love his curiousity but need him to BACK OFF! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 05-10-2011, 12:30 AM
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If you fear that being " big" and aggressive to make the horse back off will make it fearful of you, then you can move it off slowly. You must be glacially patient, and everso consistant.
You decide the boundary, and EVERY time he comes past the boundary, back him up . You "place" him where you want him. If you don't want to push him off with body language, take the leadrope , lift it up under his jaw and put backward energy into it to back him up, then you step away. If he steps forward, back him off again. You will have to do this many, many times. But he will learn that he will be backed up if he gets too close.

In concert with this, train him to stand NEAR you but at a distance and stay there while you do stuff. It's kind of like ground tying. When every you are leading him and you stop for a rest, back him off and make him stand a good 8 feet away from you. Just stand there, while you make a cell phone call, or pick daisies or adjust tack. Work a lot on the idea that he can be near you but not too close and when he stands near you, it's a peaceful place to be.

Lastly, whenever he approaches you in the field, you stop him before he gets close than about 4 feet to you. Then YOU take the last step to him so you can stroke his nose, halter him and such, but always be the one who does the actually approaching to the final connect, not him.
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post #12 of 17 Old 05-10-2011, 12:37 AM
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My horse gets no food treats ever because he becomes like this. I was told I was a big meany head for never treating my horse, so I tried and my well mannered gelding became pushy again. My horse works for neck scratches. I will never ever treat again.

Horses are like children, young ones, if we treat for good behavior while out shopping won't they throw a fit if they do not get that treat next time?
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post #13 of 17 Old 05-10-2011, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
My horse gets no food treats ever because he becomes like this. I was told I was a big meany head for never treating my horse, so I tried and my well mannered gelding became pushy again. My horse works for neck scratches. I will never ever treat again.

Horses are like children, young ones, if we treat for good behavior while out shopping won't they throw a fit if they do not get that treat next time?

Yeah, I heard you ARE a big meany head!
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post #14 of 17 Old 05-10-2011, 12:56 AM
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Please tell my foster kids, as they seem to think they can push and push me. :)

Honestly though I had a lovely gelding, and I was told I was mean for not giving him treats. As he was so lovely, I wondered, he probably deserves treats. So I listened and tried it, and he became pushy and mouthy and just expected them - nothing else changed in what I did.
I since stopped and he stopped too, he now works for that tone of voice and the scratch on his neck.

I had a previous mare who would not push or ask or force at all, so she got treats, and plenty of them.

Different rules for different horses.
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post #15 of 17 Old 05-10-2011, 07:51 AM
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"Different rules for different horses."

Agreed!
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post #16 of 17 Old 05-10-2011, 02:54 PM
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Don't move your feet. He will soon learn that you don't want him invading your space if you don't react or move your feet.

DO:

Stand still
If he doesn't come into your space, ask him to come and if he does, but respects your space, pet him.

DON'T

Pet him if he comes into your space without invitation.
Move youur feet
Give in

If your horse says no, you either asked the wrong question, or asked the question wrong.* ~Pat Parelli
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post #17 of 17 Old 05-17-2011, 08:54 PM
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Lots of good advice here.

The key assumption to understand behind what most of the folks are saying is this:

When your horse puts his nose in your pocket or rubs his head on you to scratch an itch, he's not being friendly or familiar. He's being DISRESPECTFUL. Another horse who was his peer or ahead of him in the herd would not put up with this and would send him on his way. One that was below him in the herd would interpret his actions as dominance and make tracks to put a respectful distance between them.

Once this makes sense to you, the various suggestions listed in this thread will help you manage your personal space so that your horse will come to understand that the best deal in the world is for him to be respectful to you, give you your space, and approach you with a soft eye.

A comment for the folks who feel like meanies not giving their horses treats: I've learned that I can spoil my horse by putting treats in a feed bucket and letting him eat them from the bucket without a problem.

On a more refined level, I find that I can even feed treats by hand without a problem so long as I am ALWAYS vigilant about making sure that Jack approaches me with a soft eye, respects my space and is never allowed to initiate nuzzling or mutual grooming behaviors. Finding that right balance and keeping it hasn't been easy though, just sticking to treats fed in a bucket is a lot simpler.

Nuthin wrong with that horse that putting the owner in training for a few months wouldn't shape right up.
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