Try as I might, I can’t seem to get most people to think of horses in terms of anything but large puppies. It’s frustrating. They are anything but. They are horses.
My sister-in-law was one-until one of mine reared and hit her in the head. It was an accident, but my words of warning about not standing close to the fence or gate near him had fallen on deaf ears. He was ‘cute’. He was also a stallion who objected to the geldings across the driveway because he saw them as a threat to ‘his mare’. Ergo he reared. She had turned to see why the sudden commotion behind her. Now she knows why I kept telling her that horses are inherently more likely to cause injury than a dog. They’re bigger, faster, and a lot stronger.
But horse OWNERS are the worst. The absolute worst. They will allow the horse to nuzzle their hair, shoulder, arm, back, or whatever and never realize that is the prelude in the horse world to a full-fledged BITE. “Oh, he/she just wants some attention or a goody” says the doting owner as she hands it to the pushy horse. Yes, I said PUSHY. The horse is getting into your personal space. If you were another horse and that was done, laid back ears and tightened lips would be shown to the offender to tell him to bug off. More of it, and the offender would get that again along with a swished tail and a raised hind leg. Third time? Most likely, the recipient would come back with teeth bared going for HIS hide or a quick kick. You are doing your horse no favors by tolerating that behavior.
Anna Blake does a much better job than I talking about horse behavior. I highly recommend her blog.