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  1. #1
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    Default Foal backing into me for "butt scratches": WWYD?

    My friend and I have a difference of opinion. My sweet 3-1/2 month old TB filly loves attention out in the pasture and is pretty polite about it, but she has started backing up into me asking to have her butt scratched. I want to stop this now while she's small(ish).

    I have started walking away from her when she does this. What I *want* to convey is "when you approach me like that, you don't GET butt scratches". My friend says she is learning that she can move me away, and that I should stand my ground -- and either stand my ground or push her away.

    I was hoping my approach was more subtle but still getting the point across. I see her point though. I don't want to make the filly think that invading my space makes me vacate my space.

    When I use my method, the filly usually looks back at me longingly, then turns toward me. The one time my friend used her method on my foal, the filly did the same thing... looked momentarily confused but then turned to face her. So no big drama in either case.

    What do you think, or better still, what do you do that is effective?
    Last edited by JoZ; Jul. 20, 2008 at 06:07 PM. Reason: mis-stated my friend's opinion!
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  2. #2
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    Oct. 29, 1999
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    I vote option C, scratch her butt!

    I love my foals to back up to get a butt scratch. Heck, Nevada still will back up for a butt/tail scratch. It is a great way to build their trust, and I see nothing wrong with them enjoying a scratch. I have never in 20 years of encouraging this had one develop a problem behavior from doing this.



  3. #3
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    Aug. 26, 2003
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    The good 'ole State of denial
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
    I vote option C, scratch her butt!

    I love my foals to back up to get a butt scratch. Heck, Nevada still will back up for a butt/tail scratch. It is a great way to build their trust, and I see nothing wrong with them enjoying a scratch. I have never in 20 years of encouraging this had one develop a problem behavior from doing this.

    LOL, that is what I do too. I had my one filly back up to my folks and my mom looked at me a bit frightened and I said, she wants you to scratch her butt. Now, that said, I don't stand directly behind them when I do it, I'll start scratching and move over to the side of them. My '05 gelding was my case study and he turned out great, so I'm treating my 2008ers the same way.



  4. #4
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    Default

    I'm with option C too. The only time it's been a problem is when Sammy hasn't taken into consideration his larger size when he turns around.
    Member of the Redheads with Redheads clique.
    I have a blog about Sammy: http://www.sammyssaga.blogspot.com/



  5. #5
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    I actually play the game sometimes. I scratch for a minute, take a step back, and wait. Finally they realize I am no longer scratching, and they drift back hoping for more. This is not a game to play with their front end, as they can get "into" the game with teeth and legs. They don't use their back end in play though, so it it not something that gets out of control.

    My older guys stop when I let them into their paddock for the usual scratch. When I want to make them move on, I just push on them like a piece of furniture, and they reluctantly go on thru knowing that is all they are getting for that day.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by desilu View Post
    I'm with option C too. The only time it's been a problem is when Sammy hasn't taken into consideration his larger size when he turns around.
    Been there too - <gently> squished against the wall by a stallion. A friend of mine has a unique fix for when she has "done enough" tail/butt scratching - she pulls a couple of tail hairs, and her mare then moves. I don't want to lose those tail hairs.

    They are just like kids at the pool, "please, just five more minutes?"



  7. #7
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    Jul. 5, 2002
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    FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
    I vote option C, scratch her butt!

    I love my foals to back up to get a butt scratch. Heck, Nevada still will back up for a butt/tail scratch. It is a great way to build their trust, and I see nothing wrong with them enjoying a scratch. I have never in 20 years of encouraging this had one develop a problem behavior from doing this.
    Ditto.



  8. #8
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    Mar. 4, 2008
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    I've had lots of foals do this and it has never become a handling problem for me. If I have a foal that pushes into me too hard I goose them in a ticklish or sensitive place in the back end so they move off.
    Altamont Sport Horses
    Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
    Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
    Birmingham, AL



  9. #9
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    Sep. 14, 1999
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    Just Enough Farm, GA
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    Another vote for Option C. I just visited my 17 hand 4 year old at the trainers. As I stood in the stall admiring her newly toned physique, she eased her hiney over for her customary scratch!
    If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb




  10. #10
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    Mar. 24, 2007
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    Well for the most part I say C but I think you need to pay attention to how they ask to have their butt scratched....whether it is done in a quiet, slow delibrate manner.....like they are asking for permission and just not bulldozing in and demanding a butt scratch!

    DAlemma



  11. #11
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    Jan. 15, 2003
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
    I vote option C, scratch her butt!

    I love my foals to back up to get a butt scratch. Heck, Nevada still will back up for a butt/tail scratch. It is a great way to build their trust, and I see nothing wrong with them enjoying a scratch. I have never in 20 years of encouraging this had one develop a problem behavior from doing this.
    Now, my QH mare loved having her butt scratched as a filly. Heck, she still does...she's a total pleasure seeker...will stand for hours if you scratch her.

    Now, if you pop baby while you're standing behind her, expect to get kicked, so be careful! And then you WILL need to reprimand!



  12. #12
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    Jul. 1, 2007
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    Chapel Thrill, NC
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    Default itchy butt sometimes means itchy crotch...

    She can scratch her butt on you or the fence but she can't reach her crotch.

    My filly did that too at that age. The vet advised me to give her a bath with oatmeal shampoo. When I did, I scrubbed her teats/crotch with the washrag. It didn't take long before she stopped demanding her butt to be scratched.

    Besides, I didn't worry about it too much. I thought it was kind of cute.



  13. #13
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    May. 12, 2006
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    Bethel, Pa
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    Our stallion Joshua loved to have his "But" scratched also. I would always notify anyone that would be going into his stall about this. I had visions of someone getting upset about having a 17 hand stallion come backing up to them!!
    I actually incourage my young fillies. It just seems to me that it makes sense to have the fillies enjoy having a human around their rear end. In not to many years we will be expecting them to allow us to palpate them!

    www.windyridgefarm.com



  14. #14
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    Oct. 20, 2005
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    Too funny, Josie. Gracie was raised on butt scratches courtesy of moi, I'm sorry to say. We put up a new gate to her field and another post yesterday and THIS MORNING she was itching her butt to her heart's content.

    Seriously, every baby's got an itchy butt. Some of them grow out of it, but if they don't, as long as they DO have boundaries of what's acceptable then you should be fine.

    My colt loves to be itched. He backed up right into my stomach this afternoon. I kind of leaned my weight (upper body) on his rump and he didn't like that much so HE was the one to move. Win/win situation.
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati



  15. #15
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    Jun. 21, 2006
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    I vote for option C too! My gelding is now 27 yrs. old. He started backing up to me to get his rump scratched as a baby. It's probably his favorite thing of all time that humans do for him. It's never been a problem. Sometimes people have become alarmed when he does it, and I just tell them he wants his rump scratched like the other posters have said too, and no problem! Plus, if I kind of push him away, he quits.

    I think it's cute. He still looks like a little foal to me when he does that.
    ***
    Spotakiss, now a two year old colt, born 3-22-07 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rhf7Bkb_4Gs



  16. #16
    JoZ is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Default

    I am simply amazed. Not horribly disappointed by any means, but really amazed. I think of COTH as pretty much a no-tolerance zone. When anyone posts about pushy behavior there is generally a chorus of "don't let him get away with that!!!" So I was certain I'd be among allies here in my attempt to keep this filly on the straight and narrow.

    No, huh?

    For me it's only really an issue because this filly is my first TB and is bigger at 3-1/2 months than my Paints are as weanlings, or maybe even yearlings, LOL. She will be a big strong girl and pushiness didn't seem like a wise thing to develop. Please also note that I scratch her butt all the time... I have no problem with that, I think it's adorable! Especially the little faces she makes. It's the BACKING INTO ME that I was concerned about. I guess I won't make a big deal out of it, at least not yet.

    Now, when my friend (mentioned above in my OP) gets Gracie (mentioned above in Slewdledo's post)... that's another story, mwuahahahaha. How funny, I can't wait to tell her!
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  17. #17
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    Jan. 30, 2007
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    Default scratch butt

    that's my vote. my foal is the ITCHIEST. wants everything scratched. gets it too.



  18. #18
    JoZ is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    My friend read this thread and pointed out that she did NOT recommend slapping for the back-up-butt-scratch behavior -- just standing my ground, not letting her push me away. I kind of thought that after I posted but didn't go back and edit. She doesn't consider it a serious offense or "slapworthy", just bad manners and something that could get dangerous. As do I. Still enjoying reading "the opposing point of view"!
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  19. #19
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    I don't consider it bad manners at all, and a horse that wants a scratch is not going to kick you. You can get kicked any time you stand behind a horse though, and it is why I teach an older horse while grooming, that they may not kick at a fly if I am back there.



  20. #20
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    Jun. 16, 2007
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    Default Chased backwards by a herd of foals...

    I was taking a handful of senior citizens around the farm at Gainey Arabians many years ago. It was a very popular place for tours...one of the first showplace farms. I would always go into the mare and foal pasture so they could pet the foals who would turn around for many happy butt scratches from the tourists. After doing this for a month or so I noticed the foals now about 3-4 months old would follow the tour group along the fence and start horning in for their scratches as soon at we were through the fence. Now some of these seniors didn't move so fast...add that they were stubborn and many were old farmers. I noticed then that one or two of the previously sweet friendly foals were pursuing their visitors backwards...then I noticed that if their chosen senior was busy with another foal that little baby butt would start to hop up and down...they were getting pushy...and mad. So I am trying to hustle everyone out of the pasture before one of us got nailed. Those seniors didn't want to go, and they didn't appreciate some college student getting uppity. They knew "I" was trying to "herd" them out of the pasture but they didn't see the cute foals closing in for the kill until finally ALL of the babies were chasing us backwards then the old birds finally started to hustle. Shortly before this there was a lady in California killed by a kick to the chest from a pushy butt scratch loving filly. It is cute but it is just like all horse activity...very dangerous if you aren't paying attention. PatO



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