People with horses...

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Romy, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. Sit Stay

    Sit Stay Not a Border Collie

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    I try not to encourage stuff like that with my girls, I like my space LOL. My one mare however, if you are facing away from her, will put her head over your shoulder and tuck her chin against you. She's also been known to go from the side - put her head under your arm, tilt her head and put her chin against your tummy.
     
  2. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I was trying to figure out if I was the only one like that! Tristan gives his kisses on command, and I can hug him to my heart's content, but for the most part, he doesn't push into my space. I worked with way too many pushy horses over the years managing barns, I swore up and down mine wouldn't be one of them.
     
  3. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    Yeah my old horse Cougar was very affectionatte and was very polite about it so I didn't mind him doing it. I didn't mind the old pony nearly knocking me over to itch her head because she was also a very kind horse who was just itchy. 99.9% of other horses though I am not okay wiht invading my space. You need to know me and have abond with me to get in my grill like that.

    My sister's horse Lily gives kisses on command and that horse and I instantly clicked. She will smooch my cheek and hang over my shoulder. Her pasture mate Buddy is not allowed to even step up that close to me because he is so rude. Give him an inch he takes am ile.
     
  4. Sit Stay

    Sit Stay Not a Border Collie

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    You're definitely not the only one! I love my girls, they're my babies, but I have no problem chasing them off a bit if they start getting dull to my personal space! I hate o say it but I cannot stand a horse that walks close or has to be touching you at all times. I absolutely let my girls cuddle and be affectionate (I have one mare who loves to blow air in my face and nuzzle my neck & hair, another who loves to nuzzle my stomach and chest at any opportunity) and I do let them approach me nose-first as long as they're respectful and not pushy. They have earned that privilege though because I know them all so well and they all have super ground manners (the very first horse my boyfriend ever led at a walk & trot and groomed and interacted in the paddock with was my at-the-time 2 year old). Any new horse I work with, especially one that's maybe a little more dull and pushy, is absolutely not allowed to come into my bubble unless I walk up to him. Even then it's a little while before I start feeding treats or playing with noses or anything else that can encourage a horse to walk into me and/or be pushy.

    My mom actually turned down a barn manager position not too long ago solely off of the fact that she'd be handling big pushy hunters and jumpers!
     
  5. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Thunder's a gentleman :) He always check for permission and is extremely gentle. Never thought I would like a horse as much as I like him. <3

    He did try to get in the car with me one day, lol.
     
  6. Dogs6

    Dogs6 Plus One

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    2 of the horses will but only if they're in the stable and that's just so they can push me away and escape. I don't tolerate it from them whatsoever.

    Tiger will but she doesn't approach me to do but if I'm giving her affection anyway she will. I generally have no issues with handling her whatsoever so she can get away with it.

    Captain would probably do but he's got very little manners whatsoever apart from don't kick and bite (which are important!!) and has no respect for anyone so he's not allowed to even try.
     
  7. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I try not to encourage it either, it can be dangerous. That said Senn will stop eating her grain to love on a human. But of the dozens (or more.. ack I am old) of horses I have looked after here or as a barn manager I have never met one so into people. I heartily agree with BB that its something they learn that gets them something they want from humans (a scratch, a cookies) Horses don't hug each other, mares don't hug foals.. hugging for comfort is primarily a primate obsession lol. We do a really good job of promoting it in other species though :)
     
  8. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    So will Tristan but I guess that isn't saying much with him ;) If he's eating his grain, nobody in the barn is allowed to move or make noise or blink.
     
  9. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

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    i have no personal horses of my own but i work with a barn full of crazy race horses so no i dont let any of them near enough to me to find out off they 'hug' IMHO horses arent dogs, i dont really want to have such a space invading relationship with an animal that can so easily kill me lol.
     
  10. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I disagree. Horses hug. Like this: I always gave my horses hugs.;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I'd argue that they are scratching each other's backs. While there is a level of trust and comfort involved, I don't think of it as a sign of affection in and of itself. We even use that to mean doing something with a return expected; those photos are a visual representation of "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours". If you want to argue that is hugging in the sense we humans understand it, I can show you photos proving that dogs alpha roll each other and so we should do it to them too :p
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I hug my horse like crazy, and he tolerates it with his good graces. I scratch his neck in front of his withers (he hates having his back scratched), and he points his lip and stretches his neck and has a lovely time. But I don't think a horse wrapping his neck around me means the same thing as my best friend hugging me. And even at his anorexic thinnest, Tristan outweighs me by 800 lbs or so; he doesn't get to move into my space and wrap himself around me, or scratch at me with his teeth.
     
  12. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I believe that this "grooming" is used for pair bonding and affection in animals. Lots and lots of animals do it in some form or another. I observed this kind of thing with my horses which I had since I was very young. It was so obvious to me that it was a show of affection along with scratching each other. They can scratch on a post or the corner of a barn wall. I absolutely believe it's used for pair bonding, even among same sex horses. My two mares were totally playful and affectionate with each other and some of that showed up in ways like those pictures, often accompanied by that soft, nicker they do.

    Not getting the alpha roll significance here. lol. I don't think we need to alpha roll our dogs...no.



    I kinda like this:

     
  13. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    For whatever it's worth, the Arabs and NSHs who did it with me were mostly horses I had raised since birth. In many cases I was the first human they even laid eyes on, and I hand trained them to halters, being led, grooming, bathing, and whatnot. Another was a yearling when I met her and a few months later was given a shot by a vet and the injection site became infected...it was a long long 9 months of daily scrubbing and rinsing and hand-walking. They were always horses with whom I had a particularly close relationship (or else I wouldn't have allowed it) and was not all the horse moving in to me and invading my space. More that they would ease in then stop and we would both gently lean...it was a mutual thing that either could have ended at any moment. Just very relaxed, usually at the end of a long peaceful grooming session after a day in the field. It could very well have been a learned thing, though it was not consciously taught or directly rewarded.

    Take it for what you will. I have been threatened by horses before and have had horses try to bully me with varying degrees of directness, especially when we'd get a new broodmare in who was finding her place. This was not that *shrug*
     
  14. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Oh, I don't think it is bullying or anything of the sort; I just personally don't like horses to move into my space, whatever their intentions. We had an incident in the region when I was a teenager, where a man dies after his horse thrust his face into the man's chest. How many of us (my hand is up) have allowed our horses to rub their sweaty foreheads on us after a ride? The horse did just that, but hit a certain spot hard enough, and the man had some sort of heart condition. The thrust did something to interrupt the rhythm. I know very, very few horses who have ever intentionally hurt someone; just with that size and power, I like them to keep an eye on my personal space. Like I said, I cuddle Tristan all the time - but I'm the one who gets to make the move.

    I guess I'm just not making my point very clear, so I'll leave well enough alone. Be good to your ponies, be safe, and enjoy them :)
     
  15. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    No that makes more sense. And I agree with maintaining personal space with an animal that much larger/stronger. Like I said in our case it was extremely low key and very much an "asking" sort of thing...not just being pushed or rubbed on. Still if they had happened to spook at something at that moment it certainly could have been bad...that but goes for various aspects of grooming and such too.

    No ponies anymore so sadly I cannot abide by that last line. Maybe one day, but not anytime soon.
     
  16. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Oh...I don't argue that horses can't hurt you. (I know from personal experience. lol) They don't always mean to. In fact, most horses are not out to get you. And yes, you should not allow them to do some of the things they do. And you should adhere to good horsemanship and safety.

    One of my Arabian mares (the last horses I had....fairly recently) was bottle raised from 2 weeks of age, was extremely gentle and careful of me. We had an amazing bond. She loved people. She was so different from any horses I had ever been around or owned. There's something about Arabian horses. But the other one was extremely flighty and you had to be extra cautious around her, as she spooked very easily at things and wasn't as trusting as Brisa. But she was kind and gentle to work around...to groom etc...wouldn't hurt you on purpose for the world.

    I always remembered what my Dad told me when I was just a kid with my first horse: "Never trust a horse. They're not like dogs." Yessireebob... you can get hurt even if they don't get in "your space." I mean, they can get in your space in a dangerous way in a heartbeat.
     
  17. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    No, this makes sense to me. I used to let my gelding rub his sweaty head on my butt after a ride, but ONLY because all I had to say was "That's enough" and he'd stop. He was also extreme food-oriented but I worked with him for a LONG time so that he would stand back politely in his stall while I mixed his feed for him, etc, because I felt that was important for safety's sake. Same goes for waiting on a verbal cue before entering your stall, or allowing me to go first (and again, giving me that space bubble)... I saw a girl get her arm skinned when the horse just plowed right in and trapped her arm between himself and the doorframe. Yikes.

    It comes downs to the sheer size of the animal involved. I don't think anybody's saying you can or should never allow a horse in your space, just that, well... it calls for due caution and mutual understanding from both horse and owner.
     

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