Free Interactive Lesson with me in how to Approach Horse Training

Disinterested?“Is my horse lazy, a brat, cranky, bored, out of sorts, not interested or rude?”

Maybe none of these things are true. Maybe you feel this way because your horse is not fitting in with your plans for the day?

Maybe, your horse might say that YOU are uninspiring, lacking desirable leadership, boring, out of sorts, or controlling.

Name calling will just create more separation. How to get out of this pattern is to stop looking at your horse’s performance as not being up to your expectations and start working on a better relationship and a better leadership approach with your horse.

The focus of training needs to be on how to create the dance rather than what needs to be fixed.  My blog and online programs can help you and your horse to find the best part of each other.

Honey and LibertySometimes your influence may have created these undesirable responses in your horse. If this is the case there is a way to bring your horse to be happy and connected with you rather than causing your horse to respond negatively to your direction.

Any of these undesirable attitudes are a way for your horse to let you know that he does not feel that you have approached him in a way that inspires him to follow your lead.  These attitudes are usually created by not knowing how to interact with your horse so that these behaviors do not happen.

If these attitudes were present in your horse before you arrived to the stable, because your horse is having a bad day, then you would be correct to call him these names.  However, doing so will not empower you or your relationship with your horse.  It’s best to leave him alone on these “bad” days.

When is a horse considered rude?

LibertyBefore I answer this question let me know your opinion in what you would consider to be rude behavior in a horse and why you think your horse is rude. 

I will be waiting for your response.

Until the next time, be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.




Share the love!
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Kathleen - last week Reply

I would like to be able to brush my horse, but he hates it. he pins his ears gives me his ‘stop that’ glare and if I insist he will try to bite. I know brushing is not a priority for horses, but I have never met a horse that is quite so intolerant to brushing. I have chaged to softer brushes, but it hasn’t made much difference. He lets me stroke him all over so I feel he is rude about brushing.

Mimi Leggett - a couple of weeks ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,
I recently joined your Chair Challenge, and think it is wonderful! I do not think my email replies are getting through, but hope this one does.
I think my horse is “rude,” when he pushes past me coming out of his stall, or pulls away from me on the lead rope or butts me if my back is turned or, the latest, poops right next to my chair while I’m sitting in it!
Thank you for your inspiring blogs.

Sybille Freund - a couple of weeks ago Reply

Yesterday my friend gave a treat to her horse, because he behaved so good. But then he bit a finger and didn’t let loose when she immediately started screaming. I had to make him stop biting her finger! He already did this several times. Isn’t that rude?

Kay - 3 weeks ago Reply

I believe the question was ” when do you consider a horse to be rude” I don’t think most horses are trying to be rude, people seem to be deliberate at this, not horses they are just behaving how they have been allowed to in your presents, maybe you caused it maybe you didn’t but if you don’t like how your horse behaves I would say joining this CC puts you in the right place. But if Im referring to whether I have rude horses not really but they seem to forget their manners with certain other people handling them or riding them so I’m not so keen on letting others handle/ride my horses very often unless they are willing to spend time with them and learn something. Like Carolyn I have spent much time hanging out with horses watching how they interact with each other but never had the opportunity to spend time with horses in the wild , but have spent plenty of time with domestic breeds that were wild LOL and is why Im so attracted to Carolyns methods. I keep my horses a natural as possible and seem to love to hang out with me. When Im in the pasture or interacting with them, I’m the lead mare. They rarely question that and when they do its very subtle but I notice, I have one that tends to forget to acknowledge me when Im moving around in his area but going after him with the reed when he’s eating and taking that territory has helped tremendously! One can never learn too much so im looking forward to learning an even better relationship with horses.

Debra - 3 weeks ago Reply

When I am standing with my horse in hand talking to a friend, and he spins around and starts running to graze grass.. I end up flying like a kite next to him. I consider that rude.

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 weeks ago Reply

    Debra, it is not rude in the horse’s mind. When your horse takes off to the grass it is a sign that is he is still too green in his training. More work on Standing in the Box is needed and then keeping it as part of his regular practice. I am not going to touch the part that you were on your cell phone put it did put a smile on my face. Hope this is of help.

Pam Cox - last month Reply

My horse is seldom rude. She was badly treated and is very much an introvert. The only rudeness by her would be wanting to walk ahead of me when leading. I’ve tried several ways to deter this but am unsuccessful.

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 weeks ago Reply

    Dear Pam,
    This is an easy thing to fix. The moment your horse takes a step past you, stop and then when she is willing to start indifferently turn her around and head back where you came from and if she then tries the same repeat until you can lead her where you want to go. When you get where you want to go give her a small treat. Hope this is of help.

Viv - last month Reply

Hmm, rude…I have always assumed it is me that has the problem and she is just showing me this by her “attitude”!!! i know my mare has her off days, and she turns her back on me and walks away. When she does this, I allow her her space and find something else to do- but often wrestle with myself because I realise I had an agenda!!!

    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 weeks ago Reply

    Hi Viv,
    In reality there are no problems when working with horses. It is just finding the right appraoch and then spending enough time to seasoning a horse in what he is trained to do and then keeping it as part of his daily experience with you. Hope this is of help

Michelle - last month Reply

Hi Carolyn,

I just wanted to say I am new to your blog and recently signed up for the CC. I have read a bit about the Waterhole Rituals and have started on some of them.
I am totally new to horses and have 2 beautiful babies – a 2 year old gelding cob and a 1 year old welsh pony. When I first got them I was a bit overwhelmed – what have I done getting too babies and having no real history with horses! But – saying that I am an avid student and read and read and then put it into practice with my gelding and filly. I have had some wins with my study and some things I would not do again. Willow (gelding) and Gypsy (filly) are curious and beautiful and when I sit with them in a chair they come and check me out (Willy visited 3 times in about 15 minutes). I now consider myself a horse person – I love these 2 so much and feel I am making some good headway with a few hiccups along the way.

I love your blogs and think the data you provide is just truly amazing.

Thanks again and I really appreciate what you are doing with the horse world – there is a lot of rubbish out there and a lot of information that does not sit right with me.



    Carolyn Resnick
    Carolyn Resnick - 3 weeks ago Reply

    Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for sharing. Listening to your instincts is a great guide. An effective appraoch is to use want works and drop what dose not work like what you are already doing.

Sarah - a couple of years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
Sometimes I’m not really sure if I should classify something as rude or if it is just my horses’ way of saying they don’t like something! However, there are two times when I would definitely consider their behavior rude, (1) when they push themselves into my personal space after being asked to keep a polite distance, and (2) if they try to grab hay from my (the lead “horse’s”) arm.
Looking forward to learning more! Thank you.

BarbaraFenwick - a couple of years ago Reply

Thanks for the webinar offer. [email protected]

We so often set ourselves up to receive rudeness,as we perceive it, from the horse. If we take behaviour at face value,I feel rudeness doesn’t come into play, I feel our experiencing rudeness is just a behaviour, and how we observe, respond and help to divert that “wrong energy” into a more harmonic one, is more productive than a label…it’s just a horse being and doing what they feel is appropriate or allowed in their world.
So..what is rudeness…an opportunity to find a way to help us become better communicators.

Anne - a couple of years ago Reply

I believe a horse is being rude when he does not respect your space. Would love to see the webinar on the subject. Thanks

Carine - a couple of years ago Reply

Rude is when I bring her out of her stall and her attention wonders. When I am riding and going by the door distracts her so much she turns her head away, when she is more focused on her treats than on paying attention to me. I have discovered that with horses, every little thing matters, if I give an inch and “understand” a lapse in attention, she takes an arm and it is a slippery slope. This means that I have to give her my full attention too. It is just that the boundary between what we take as ok or insignificant in terms of a deviance from respectful behavior in relation to humans is different with horses. I may choose my battles with my kids, but with my mare, every step matters. I am not saying that I should be controlling everything just that I have to pay attention to every step, as soon as we get out of the stall. She requires my full attention if I am to receive hers. If she has her nose in my immediate space, that is rude. I need to let her know it is not ok because one day that nose or insignificant move will cause damage. Every little gesture matters and needs to be focused.

Kiana - a couple of years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

I have had this question in my mind for a few days now.. Is there a certain way I should leave after i’m done sharing territory with my horse ? Do I just get up and leave


Pat Lawrie (Insider's Circle 2010) - a couple of years ago Reply

I don’t see it as much of an issue of “rudeness” as I feel it is more of a training or awareness or leadership issue. For example, if one of my horses does not come when called, I feel I haven’t gotten the bond in tact before asking. I always try to get the bond going by “saying hello” first to see if there will be an active interaction. If I get an “adios”, I will go to one of my other 5 horses. I will usually blame myself for any other unwanted behaviors if they do happen. And then I seek to improve myself and my leadership and the unwanted stuff usually disappears.

I recently took on a rescue mare who was treated very badly and used in the Mexican charreadas for roping her legs year after year. She was half starved and had a 3 month old filly. She didn’t have much use for humans at all and couldn’t even look a person in the eye, always turning her head away and hated to be touched. She has come a long way in a fairly short period of time and now always looks forward to her interaction with me. I didn’t consider it rude of her to behave this way. I knew I just had to show her a better way and give her a better life. And I really didn’t need a 5th horse! But there she was and I love her.

I look forward to the Webinar.

Pat in Mexico

GinnyCarr - a couple of years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

I had to come on your blog again to share this video I know you will love, since it is a song about All God’s Creatures. A friend sent it to me and I thought you and your blog followers would especially like it. Hope it is OK to put here and hope you can delete it, too, if this is not the place to share it!

Kendra Chavez - a couple of years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
Thank you for the offer of a webinar, my email is [email protected].

I find it rude when my mini paws the ground when I arrive with the grain bucket, or when I’m sharing territory with him and he starts nipping at my arms, feet or hands (he quickly gets sent away for this). My riding gelding will become more focused on other “herd members” when they move away from him when we are out riding or when he is in the corral and he doesn’t pay attention to me or my safety. My other gelding I have never experienced rude behaviors from 🙂

Thank you again,

Nayori - a couple of years ago Reply

I have one horse who may well step on my foot when I’m leading him on a rope. It hasn’t happened but I have to be careful. And I feel that that would come from ‘rudeness.’

Wendy - a couple of years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
If my horse is in a stressful situation she is inclined to try to push past me, not seeming to care if she runs into me on the way. I have probably allowed this to develop by moving rather than have her get caught up in a wire fence.

Alexandra Lalieu (Neversink, NY) Prince Sahran EC Spring '13, IC Fall '13 - a couple of years ago Reply

Thank you for offering me another treasured opportunity to learn from you, Carolyn!
Rude? Or wanting to feel safe by determining who will be leader in this situation?
I would like to learn how I can become well-versed in Horse Culture(andalso Human Culture, because we have so much in common!)…a person who lives in a state of joy, becoming an oasis of peace for humans and animals and plants alike… who understands that I need to EARN, in each present moment, my horse’s trust, friendship and privilege to be chosen by him/her as a leader.
I believe that if I study the Waterhole Rituals Path, I may become “grounded” and so confident in (Divine) Self-awareness, that my horse, and indeed all sentient life, no longer feels separate from my self…
Alexandra & “Sahran”
Spring ’13 EC, Fall ’13 IC
[email protected]

SusanWilliams - a couple of years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn

Thank you as always for a very interesting blog.
“The focus of training needs to be on how to create the dance rather than what needs to be fixed.” This is what I have learnt from doing courses with you.
I don’t usually think in terms of my horse being rude, as this has too much human interpretation of blame, rather as unwanted behaviour when around me. A horse could be thought of as being ‘rude’ because he does not see me as a leader so he is not focused on interpreting my boundaries. Examples of this might be pushing into my space when I have food.
A horse will not be ‘rude’ if all the heartfelt strings of connections are present; Bond, Trust, Respect, Willingness and Focus. Then there will be the dance!


Kate - a couple of years ago Reply

This may sound a little silly but I consider it rude when my horse intentially pops me in the face with his tail. I could be wrong but i am pretty sure she meant to do that. 🙂

GinnyCarr - a couple of years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn,
Thank you for the offer of a webinar, my email is [email protected]. My horse Holly is rude sometimes, pushy, trying to walk faster than I want on a lead, showing me her rear end. That one makes me laugh because it feels like she is a two year old having a tantrum. Sometimes she stomps her foot! When I taught Kindergarten there were times when kids did something “rude” and they might wonder what “rude” meant. Usually they could learn, over time, how to play and work with the other kids and get along nicely. So I think the problem with Holly’s rude behavior is that sometimes I am not clear with her or hold her to high enough standards. I need to learn Horse language so that I can read her better and notice the things she does with her nose and ears and body. And I need to be clear with my body, and consistent and predictable, so she can be sure that I am in charge around here! We have made a lot of progress and will keep it up every day. Thank you very much for all you do.
Ginny Carr

Marja van Run - a couple of years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

When I thought about rude behaviour in horses, I couldn’t easily come up with a form of behaviour I would consider rude. So I did some more thinking and found out that I just don’t see certain types of behaviours as ‘rude’ anymore. Instead I now see them as a signal that I need to work on my leadership skills some more. When my leadership skills are not in place, a horse will automatically start testing the boundaries. Not because he wants to be ‘rude’ on purpose, but because it is his nature to look for the leader. If I am not the leader he needs, then for the horse there is no other solution than taking over leadership himself, as the safety of the ‘herd’ (even if that herd only consists of him and me) is crucial for his survival. No safety and security without a leader.
Years ago there were lots of behaviours I would have called ‘rude’, but nowadays I find it much more fun to see them as interesting phenomena to keep my awareness sharp. So it’s a shift in perception.

Having said all this, I’m still only human 😉 so I do still get that irritated feeling once in a while of experiencing a certain behaviour as rude, for instance when I open a fresh, new pasture and our herd boss Birki rudely rockets himself past me to get to the green grass, despite me asking him to wait politely and enter the pasture at a quiet walk. Then I sometimes think AAAAARRRGGGHH! but at the same time I know it’s entirely up to me to change his behaviour. Isn’t it great how our horses keep us awake and focused :-)?


    Marja van Run - a couple of years ago Reply

    As to my e-mail address (for webinar info): I’m not comfortable putting it out here publicly (I get enough spam as it is), but I’m sure it’s in your records ;-).

Anna - a couple of years ago Reply

I’m not sure that horses have the concept of rudeness so much as their way of communication that doesnt fit with our idea of good manners. We have a new horse who is bargy around food and has turned his back end on my son in the field ( with intent ) but I guess he just sees us as ranking below him.

Lindi - a couple of years ago Reply

After years of living harmoniously with our gorgeous but aging herd (my beautiful Dusky is thirty this year) we decided to bring 6 year old Blessed Boy to live with us. His boundless energy and enthusiasm are delightful(mostly) and definitely not intentionally rude – but perhaps not as careful with myself or my daughters as I have become used to. Looking forward to this new journey. Thanks for you generous sharing and beautiful blog. Lindi (Wilderness -South Africa)

NicoletaDobrin - a couple of years ago Reply

I think a horse can become rude if his limits were not properly established, by men or other horses. If he relizes his limits, when the chance is given, the horse doesn’t learn to be rude. I do associate roodness with the previous experiences that the horse has.

I think that, in a way, this means that rudeness, when occurs, is an opportunity to establish your limits. The more you do that, less will happen in the future.

Now,to answer the question, when I think of rudness, I see the horse pushing into me – with the head, shoulder, hips, the bending and, of course, all the other behaviours that could prejudice my safety.

Kaya, Cairns Australia, IC, Puds (Puddles) - a couple of years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn

I found it rude the other day when i went in to say hello to my horses and puds gave me a second of a hello and once he realized i had no food he went straight over to the gate waiting for his food. It felt a bit rude… but i don’t think he saw it like that, as he was just keen for dinner i guess.

[email protected]

JoKing - a couple of years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn

Rudeness is a human trait,I’m not entirely sure that in a horses psyche that they would understand that term!!However,my young Irish Draught does like to invade my space a little more than I would like but when I watch him with my older Draught he does exactly the same thing.Interestingly though when we are playing with the rituals he is very respectful but as soon as I am pushing the barrow round the field or just hanging out with them this is when he will head butt me so hard he nearly knocks me over!!!But again,I see him do this with Kas.So,is he showing rude behaviour or is this just his way of getting mine and kas’s attention?Or is he being playful?I have spent many hours trying to work it out!!!


Tamara Blits - a couple of years ago Reply

Great blog! I believe a horse isn’t rude. He may be trying to tell you something. people are the rude ones. You can talk to horses, if you know , and feel where they’re at. I love the way my horse teaches me. I can’t say he is rude. I can correct what I think is rude. It’s the nature of horses. They talk to you, with what they are born with. You just have to understand.

Petra Webstein - a couple of years ago Reply

Rude … I feel there is always a reason, my horses do not seem to just be rude, just because they decide to be. There are so many factors that play a role which I feel need to look at before I take an action. I am very interested to hear / see how you approach this. Thank you.

Cathy - a couple of years ago Reply

We have a gelding who is out 24/7 in a grass pasture and is alpha gelding of a herd of 20 horses. Most of the time he is respectful of us, but sometimes when we are leading him, he decides he wants grass and just pulls away from us and goes where he wants (rude and potentially dangerous). He doesn’t go far and we can catch him right away, but he goes none the less. He is also very, very, very difficult to get into a trailer and runs away from us as we try. [email protected] Thank you.

MarshaKessler - a couple of years ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

Like a few others here I started a list of what I would rude behavior but when I looked at it I realized that the horse was telling me things and I was not listening. I think perhaps rude is a human thing and horses do not suffer from rudeness. That is not to say that all of their behaviors are desirable, only that I do not believe that they are ever intentionally rude.


Ruth - a couple of years ago Reply

I have two horses. I can’t think of a time when the one has ever been rude. The other one? Many times I ask him not to get in my space, and he does it anyway because he wants me to do something for him. Like feed him, give him a treat, play with him or otherwise entertain him. He buts me with his nose or pushes on me with his shoulder. This is not safe!

Carolyn Resnick
Carolyn Resnick - a couple of years ago Reply

This was sent to me via email and I wanted to share it… Thank you Barb.

I enjoy your posts! Thank you for being so generous with your information and sharing your knowledge. I have a new mare and we have been working together on our relationship.

She is very sensitive and during ground work she usually moves away
with the lightest touch from me, whether it’s on her nose, chest, shoulder or hip. But I consider it rude when she enters my space uninvited, and especially when she whacks me with her head if I don’t duck.

Cheryl - a couple of years ago Reply

I have 4 horses and given the opportunity I think they all could be rude at times. I try to be a step ahead and avoid “rudeness”. However, if I’m not paying attention, my young gelding picks up on it immediately. He will be rude and nudge me with his nose. He is very impatient and doesn’t like his ears cleaned or his mane brushed and will rudely toss his head. He is third in the herd hierarchy but he will be rude and try to push his way ahead of the two more dominant individuals if I don’t manage the situation. This rudeness is the most dangerous and I’m not certain how to deal with it. So I love this blog and look forward to finding answers.

Monique Ros, from the Netherlands-certified trainer. - a couple of years ago Reply

Hi Carolyn

Thanks for this great blog

I can not remember when one of my horses were rude.
I can only see that they sometimes want it all their way, or a bit annoying.

When I see the word “rude”, it could be for me “they bite me on purpose”, or intentionally bother me.
But honestly i find that it is all a game of their ranking.
So, I find it difficult to give this to a good response.

I think the horses sometimes can be rude in the “word rude of humans”.
like to day when I bring the hay out in the pasture.
I was almost finished and i promises the animals extra goodies for Animal day. Well the seems to know because the whole ride with the hay car the walking behind me and say heee, where are the goodies. But the were polite wayting and walk behind me, the get the extra goodies 🙂

But Bo, one of my horses, came to me and wanted more. I said no, that’s enough, but was a little tired and did not look good at her intention.

She pushed me so with her nose in the electric fence. OUCH that hurt i say loud . She really looked at me like OE, this is bad, and i saw here make a excuses in here body language.

I can think…., but rather not.

The had A good Animal Day and nice goodies, me to :0)

Lots of love Monique

Leave a Comment:

Get instant access to FREE excerpts from my best-selling book 'Naked Liberty'

Naked Liberty

To  claim your copy in PDF format, simply enter your details below and click Send It Now!