In a herd situation, horses are constantly challenging each other to determine their role within the herd.? Horses see the world in hierarchal levels, and are always looking to reassure themselves as to where they belong within this system.? Whether it is outright challenges of dominance, or subtle changes in body language, your horse will likely try to challenge you at times, and it is imperative that you are able to read his actions with an objective mind.
Horses that push and rub up against you, invade your personal space, and almost knock you over are not only a nuisance, but are also directly challenging you.? Although often mistaken as cute and loving behavior, this is actually dangerous and can lead to other problems.? Learn to keep your horse in his own space, and correct him when he moves into yours by asking him to move back.? The more you let him get away with this initially, the more often he will attempt it.? Some horses will try to crowd handlers in the stall, causing them to be pinned against the wall.? This is also extremely dangerous, and something to be wary of.
If your horse pulls heavily when you walk him, or tries to push you into walking where he wants to go, you will need to work on his leading manners.? If you have the knowledge, try using a roundpen or a lungeline.? If this doesn?t work for you, then at least keep correcting him when he moves into your space.? When he charges ahead, stop, ask him to relax, and then try moving out again.
Your horse should never threaten you.? If you have had an experience where your horse has tried to bite or kick you, or has even cocked a foot, as if ready to kick, you will probably want to enlist the help of a professional trainer to find out where the problem lies.