training question--in my space?

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Marsha Cassada

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Since my horses are in the weight watchers dry lot, I got to sit with them sometimes. When they are grazing in the pasture I sit or lie on the grass by them and they munch around me. When I sit in the dry lot, they get right up in my lap almost. Midnight is the worst; sometimes I have to make her back up. Should I make them back up and stay farther back? Are they "bossing" me or just bored and nosey?
 

Kelly

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You know your horses best, you know if they are bossing you around or not.

I have a sitting rock in my dry lot. As soon as I sit down, usually all 4 of my little boys are pretty much on top of me. Personally I think it is very sweet, I LOVE it!! They do have to behave though.... no nibbling, no biting, no pawing at me and no horse-ing around. I allow them into my space and if they misbehave then I will tell them/make them leave my space.

I don’t think they are bossing you, nor bored, maybe nosey, but I just think they love you and love your company 💜 💜


Me on my sitting rock....
E1F09F0A-4794-434E-9A2F-6426BD6588E1.jpeg


“Some horses will test you, some will teach you, and some will bring out the very best in you.”
 
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Kelly

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I would ask myself... if my ponies are behaving, then why are they making me feel uncomfortable? Could it be a trust issue? They might trust me, but do I trust them??

I think this would be a great opportunity to build a stronger bond with them! I would sit on my sitting rock and just let them be. If and ONLY IF they become naughty, then and ONLY THEN would I ask them out of my space... and be consistent. See what they will do, they might surprise you and they will most definitely get you out of your comfort zone. 😍
 

secuono

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Like others have said, know your ponies. If you don't trust them, figure out why and work on it.
Horses don't turn to violence for no reason, nor fully out of the blue. There's almost always a cause and a warning.
20210513_125128.jpgScreenshot_20210518-220102_Video Player.jpg
 

Ryan Johnson

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Marsha , I get why you asked this question & I’ll give you my input . I strongly believe your minis are just showing you love . If I was locked in a dry lot looking at the pasture, I would snuggle up to you too in the hope you would “let me out for some grass” . Don’t get me wrong , manners and personal space are always a must but I believe they are just bored and hoping there’s a treat in your pocket. I know you certainly wouldn’t put up with any bad behaviour from your two minis 😊
 

LostandFound

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I guess I'm going to be the odd one and say even if they aren't being bossy, which they probably are in the mildest form, it's not safe. Kicking at a fly or at one of the other horses can get you a hoof to the forehead. A neighbors fireworks or a bear coming through the field. A bee sting. Things happen. You are on the ground, with your head at hoof level, and you can't get up more quickly than they can accidentally hurt you. It's not about violence coming out of the blue, it's about a fairly large animal that sometimes moves in unpredictable ways. If you want to let them do it I suggest finding a rock, a stump, or a chair.
 

MindySchroder

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Horses and ponies actually touch each other all the time. They rub on each other and slide alongside each other. It isn't about being bossy or dominating most of the time but seeking closeness or sharing a scratch or just sharing space. I think you are right in that if they are making you feel uncomfortable then you can ask them to step back. But I wouldn't always push them away if they are seeking a bit of a connection.
 

Pitter Patter

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Like others have said, know your ponies. If you don't trust them, figure out why and work on it.
Horses don't turn to violence for no reason, nor fully out of the blue. There's almost always a cause and a warning.
View attachment 43584View attachment 43585
I love this picture! Your horse looks like she's trying to soak up your essence and loving it!
 

Pitter Patter

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Enjoy the time you spend with them! If you are relaxed and confident they will be also. I love sitting with mine any chance I get. I'm getting older (ugh!) and I sat on a stump that was low to the ground and got stuck and unable to get up without anything to grab! Momentarily I got scared (what if someone gets spooked, etc). My little stallion saddled right up next to me and relaxed his rear leg. I petted and asked if I could use him as a support. I know he doesn't understand all the words, but I really think he got it. Didn't even flinch when I used him to help get up. But then there's my mare who has a new baby. While she lets me do all sorts of stuff with him, once in a while she gets nervous (and it can be from the others getting too close, etc) and reacts. I cannot be sitting in this situation! So, basically it all depends. I think they are just enjoying your presence. I am a terrible leader too and I recognize this. I am a friend before being a leader, which is really not good, but I'm working at it. I'm a pushover until a certain point and send them away. . I also do not sit with the foal because those hooves are very sharp (just learned this little fact the hard way when he stood on my foot!) So basically I'd say--enjoy their presence, if you are comfortable with them nuzzling you allow it, if you even have any thought that could get rougher just let them know it's not ok. I feel so blessed I can usually be silly, affectionate, or just watch them. It's the best therapy to be with them! Knock on wood, I haven't been bitten yet! Pepper merely tolerates my presence (top mare). I can sit with her around IF I am no lower than she is and I can get away in a hurry because she can try her bossiness on me and that's NOT ok. So, be flexible in your interactions. Use your instincts, love them, and don't accept truly invasive behavior. Mine know if I am in a bad mood (even when trying to hid it) and usually stay a bit farther away. I sometimes invite them to me actively, give them a kiss, and then send them off to do their own thing. It's not being mean. They send each other off all time and invite back.
 

secuono

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I love this picture! Your horse looks like she's trying to soak up your essence and loving it!
But then! She tried to eat me alive!!
🤣
Screenshot_20210519-160532_Video Player.jpg

My ponies are so weird. This one will carefully pull phones out of pockets and hats off heads.
My other girl likes to stick her nose against my thighs, under my butt, when I'm standing around and snooze for a bit. 🤔🤷🏽‍♀️🤣 I was so confused the first time she did it, but that's just an odd quirk she enjoys doing randomly.
 

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