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How to Teach Your Horse to Stop Rubbing Against You

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A horse may rub against you because he itches or because he wants your attention. That can be dangerous -- he could knock you down, for instance -- if not merely uncomfortable or unsanitary. Getting your horse not to rub himself on you requires that you teach him to respect your personal space and consistently enforce those lessons.

Step 1

Do not allow your horse to invade your personal space when you are handling him. A horse that understands and respects your boundaries is far less likely to try to rub himself on you. You should maintain at least 12 to 18 inches of personal space when you are handling horses. When you are handling your horse and he steps into your personal space, gently push him away from you, either by using your hand on his side or chest or by applying backward pressure to the halter and lead rope. Make your horse take a step or two backward every time he invades your space. Do this consistently when handling your horse and he will eventually learn how close he can come to your personal space.

Step 2

Correct your horse immediately when he tries to rub against you. Firmly say no and correct your horse by moving him back out of your personal space. Correct the horse as many times as necessary until he stops trying to rub on you.

Step 3

Reward your horse when he behaves himself. Since the horse may be itchy, use a curry comb or other grooming tool to scratch the area your horse wanted to rub against you. Reward your horse with affection and attention on your terms when he is standing without being pushy or rubbing against you.