KFH says something to the effect that these horses need to be given boundaries, and that one shouldn't be made to feel put-upon by one's horse.
Well, yeah, I guess, kind of.
But here's what I realized today. I was hanging out with Bridget, and she shoved her nose into my face, as is her wont. And I experienced two possibilities - one, I could just be rather quiet and try to enjoy having this large mouth (containing large teeth) making free with my physiognomy. Or, two, I could respond with equal enthusiasm and force. (Of course, there's a third choice - to shoo her off, but I did not experience that as a possibility at the time.)
So I grabbed hold of her nose and blew raspberries onto it, and rubbed it hard, and kissed it, and blew at it. And she was very happy with this, and so was I. All potential feelings of put-upon-ness vanished in mutuality. And I find the same when she bumps her butt into me to make me scratch it. I just bump right back.
Not all horses are so benign as Bridget, and I know that there are times to object when a horse comes into your space. But if the horse comes at you with all this warmth and communicativeneness, I don't think the choice has to be between going all nervous-nelly or making them get away.
|Here comes Bridget,|
|and here comes her leg to play the leg game.|