My horse has good manners and is respectful to the point kids or very inexperienced people can handle her safely. However, being boarded for 6+ years at a barn with lots of kids and new-to-horses adults led to a habit that I truly can't stand- she is an insufferable "licker." People who don't know about horses seem to have an instinct to go up to a horse and put their open palm under the horse's nose- and Isabel is always ready to oblige by licking their palm, which people think is just hysterically funny. Mind you, she's not getting a treat. She's just literally licking their hand. She doesn't bite, she doesn't nibble. But she'll stand there licking as long as a person will let her do it. I think it's so irritating!
I thought when we moved to our new barn, where there are no kids and most of the adults are amateur competitors, it would stop. But no! New BO, who can handle giant warmbloods with just "that look," because of the time she's put into manners, also thinks the licking is a hoot and lets Izzy do it too. I guess I've just accepted that she's always going to do it since everyone but me seems to think it's funny.
I do this with my big guy. I love it! I've had friends complain when holding him for farrier that he will lick their coats the whole time and leave them all wet. I think it's hilarious. He never gets treats, so idk where he picked it up.
I'm lucky in that I board at a primarily training stable. There is only 4 borders and the rest of the horses are either owned by my trainer or are there in full training. The only person other than me to handle my guys would be my trainer. My last barn was worst as it was mostly horses owned by young lesson kids, though they never really handed their horses other than to tack up and ride. I got to put ground manner on most of them that were lacking when turning out.
So I'm pretty spoiled when it comes to others' horses. Trainer has a new horse in, I've been helping get him tacked. My horses all pick their feet up with a tap on the leg and hold it. This horse actually required me to lean into him and pull his leg up. The travesty! The horror!
It's not uncommon to have a competitive horse who is a bit of a pig. That part of their personality is what can give them that edge to make them great. My trainer has one of them, but he's not as bad as he could be. If he was kept in a stall, grained, and fit though, he'd be a monster.
I've got my own little guy who can be a monster, but generally stays in line. That's his personality too. Once I tried to keep him on indoor board since he needed to learn to stall. Good skill to have. I had to warn the stable hands about how to open his stall and take him out. He became a complete dragon being kept in. He was a fun ride too. Only lasted about 5 days inside before getting kicked back out.