How to Prevent a Horse from Rubbing Their Head on You

I see it all the time, horse owners try to halter or bridle their horse and the animal constantly knocking on them while trying to rub its head and face against them. This is a bad habit to let your horse get into. Little kids get knocked down or hurt from a horse hitting against their head. Adults can get knocked off balance and hit in the face.

Most horses are itchy, so, take care of their itches while grooming. Brush your horse’s face with a very soft bristled brush; brush behind the ears and on the face, under the chin and where the head joins the neck while avoiding their eyes. Don’t let the horse or pony rub on you; if it does, stop what you are doing and say No in a very firm tone. You don’t have to yell, just be firm and then resume grooming.

Grooming is a good time to teach this lesson because your horse will be more interested in itching and you will have the halter on for further discipline. Each time your horse tries to rub (don’t wait until it does rub, catch it before) say No in a firm voice. If you are a parent, just remember how you taught your little one not to touch the stove. Same idea. If the horse insists on rubbing, hold the lead right below the halter. When it starts to rub, give a light tug, and say No in a firm voice. Don’t jerk it’s head – just a tug. Start with just the voice command No, if that doesn’t work after several tries, then go on to the tug and No together. Training takes time. Some horses learn faster than others so be patient and it your horse will eventually catch on.

Provided by Pam Hunter at Pet People’s Place

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