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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don’t know if I put this in the right sub, mods please move it if it’s not!

Recently was talking to someone about the “bubble” for horses, they said how horses should at all times stay out of your “bubble”..and I was curious how many people go by this?

my gelding has itchies, he likes too rub on me gently until I find the spot to get his itchies. He loves his ears scratched, always something he’s loved since I bought him….this person said that’s unacceptable because he’s “breaking my bubble” and it shows that the horse has lack of respect for you..what.

I don’t know how true that is, I see a big difference from like actually pushing and shoving you to just asking for itchies.

I rode this one mare who actually pushed and shoved you with all her strength and it hurt, my gelding did this once when he was anxious and I corrected it but he hasn’t ever done this since.. other then that he’s really gentle and I don’t see him wanting itchies as a respect issue.
sometimes after a ride he’ll get all impatient from the itchies and being sweaty, so he’ll really scratch against me but I usually push him away and then get his itchies with a brush.

My opinion is you can still have respect and still love on them.. or no?

what do you all go by? Do y’all go by the bubble or let your horses rub on you?

Water Working animal Rectangle Pack animal Tree
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I liked what Mark Rashid had to say about this, which was basically as long as you were consistent and your horse(s) understood the rules, that it didn't matter.

I am one who lets them in, as long as they don't abuse that privilege. However, with Rowan I established a personal space bubble because he unfortunately would creep in, and then start nuzzling, and then make little nips. I never let the little nips proceed to big nips, so I don't know if that would have happened or not.

I've tried to relax the rules with him from time to time, but he always ends up starting that nuzzling / nipping progression, so then it's back to a two-foot personal space bubble.

Moonshine is allowed into my space bubble but only wants to do it when she's itchy. Then she will press the itchy part of her into me, but in a nice way, and I will scratch it. She doesn't overall enjoy human interaction that much, so being able to make her feel good is really nice.

Teddy is very gentle and can come into my personal space bubble whenever he wants.

Pony can too. He nuzzles but doesn't proceed to nipping, and I find that acceptable. However, he also wants to rub his head on me after I take off his bridle when he's sweaty, and that is NOT acceptable, so I push his face away with my knuckle when he does that. He's also not allowed to mug for treats, and my reaction to that varies depending on the severity of the infraction.
I might look him up! Interesting! But I agree.. I’ll give him the privilege but if he abuses it then I’ll stick with the bubble thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My bubble flexes depending on the circumstances but I don't let my horse push or rub on me.

I believe horses are like two year old children and they are always testing their limits to examine their place in the herd. Being pushy is just plain dangerous and I flinch when people try to kiss horses on the nose. I believe if we created a poll, you'd find several people would report injuries like broken noses etc.

I am very careful when I express my love for my horse and he'll reach over very carefully for a kiss, or what my wife calls, moowah! I would encourage everyone to be careful. Horses are very powerful animals and they might not mean to hurt you but can do so quickly and easily.
Agreed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey!
So i like this post as i get many mixed messages about this and sometimes negative feedback with the way i "cuddle" my foal.
Now ive worked with horses and bolshy horses at that for years and i wanted to start my own foal to train from scratch and she was completely untouched when i got her at 6 months old.
At now 10 months old i make sure she has the respect for me and to give me space if i need it/ask for it but never out of fear.
She knows as soon as feeding time comes i step in with her food bucket she stands back until i put it down and then she can come eat - again not out of fear but persistent training.
She also knows when i enter the field to step back away from the gate and not to push or barge through gates or stable doors.
If i take her in the arena she knows "back up", and will move her hips or shoulder away from me at a small touch so if i need to she will give me space.
She has been known at the start to try it on with a nip and i would instantly loudly say NO and make her back up away from me sharply 3 or 4 steps - never done it again for the last few months.
HOWEVER we have our stratches, she can come over to me for a pet and cuddle in the stable or field and i openly welcome a loving horse, i would never ever want her to fear me or be scared to approach me.
I think as long as the respect and the training is there it works.
(Welcome to the forum :) ) Sounds like you’re on a path for a very well behaved and trained future horse!
 
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