Originally Posted by MarkInEncinitas View Post
I was a bit skeptical of Yogi's post but today proved them correct. Johnny has a serious lack of respect for my space now which has to be fixed. Going through a narrow gate this morning he plowed right into me from the side. I'm sure he knew exactly what he was doing.
The trouble is that I only get so many chances to work on his behavior. It's not like I can tell the owner that I'm taking him down to the round pen to work with him.
Nevertheless his days of intruding into my space without correction are over.
I'm glad things clicked for you. Don't get me wrong there is no issue with loving on a horse...IF things are all on your terms.
If I have a pushy horse I will make a point to not encourage it.
It's like hand feeding/feeding treats. I hand feed all the time. I generally recommend other people not to. The second one of my horses starts to expect the treats or tells me to give them treats is the second they aren't getting any. As such all of my horse will politely wait until I have the treat then they may look cute or ***** their ears but must remain respectful and wait for me to come to them then they get the treat. After the treat I expect them to stand calmly and quietly and not be nosing me looking for more.
It's all about boundaries not what you do. AFTER you have established respect it's ok to do more but the respect still needs to be there, and ALWAYS you come to them and YOU do things when you want them, etc.
Games? Never. Games are how horses show dominance and you're letting him win by even playing. Same with things like rubbing on your or letting them come into your space.
(If a horse wants to rub on me they aren't allowed to but if they look itchy I will extend my hand and allow them to itch on my hand, aka I scratch them)
Like I said, glad it clicked because a lot of people misunderstand or feel it's overdone to say "don't pet the horse" (which is also not at all what I'm saying).
Going to this rescue is a great learning experience for you. I don't think you did anything "wrong" in this situation, just allowed the behavior to happen (then handled it properly). Now you know for the future.
It's the little subtle things we don't pick up on that the horses do. Just with day to day handling, just have confidence and authority, do be kind and give them love, but do NOT lose the first things. You shouldn't need a roundpen. If you have an issue you can even just make him move on the lead rope. Just a step or two away from you to reinforce. Remember, they do get subtle (though some spoiled ones don't listen lol)