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Mare head rubbing and stallion has trouble going

Hey Franklin,

I have a pregnant paint mare. She's kinda pushy when it comes to feeding time. But I saw the answer to that question in your Help Center... But she has this problem of wanting to rub her head on my arm. She usually does this when I'm holding her still by the lead rope or taking the saddle and other tack off of my other mare. She just comes up to me and rubs on my arm. Is she being mean, needing attention, bored or what?

Also, I have a stallion he has a great temperament he stands still for his brushing , bridle and all he is sweet but when I ride him he won't go. He uses a hackmore bit. My husband rides him and when he doesn't go with clicking he pops him on the butt, he still seems stubborn from time to time. I don't want to do that because I see his ears lay back with him when he pops him. How can I get him to go with out hitting him?

Also what confuses me is when my husband rides him he barely touches his neck and he turns like he neck reins. So how could he seem to be that trained but yet has trouble going? Do you think he has to be hit on the butt?

Thanks so much for your time and answer,

Hi Amanda,

The mare is simply using you for a rubbing post (and perhaps wanting a little attention when you are focused on the other horse). You may or may not think it is sweet or cute. But truth is, either way, it is an invasion of your personal space/boundaries. The mare is showing you she has little respect for your boundaries. I suggest backing her up a couple of steps every time she tries to rub on you by shaking a lead rope at her knees or feet and telling her to back up. She will soon understand that invasion of your personal boundaries is not allowed.

For the stallion, you need to handle him on the ground (circling, stopping, turning, backing, long lining, etc.) for a while to get used to him and the amount of pressure it takes to motivate him to move. Doing this on the ground first gets you used to, and accostumed to how the horse is. Once you can motivate him to move forward easily on the ground you will know what it takes to move him from the saddle. Also the horse will become 'lighter.' Sounds like nobody does any ground games there. If you did, neither of you would need to pop him. Good horsemanship is not just about riding horses. A lot of knowledge is gained by handling the horse on the ground. Unfortunately, this is over looked in most cases.

Good Luck.
Sincerely, Franklin

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