A few weeks ago, I was visiting with Lucy, my niece’s one-year-old mustang pony, who has always behaved normally with me and allowed me to pet her. Lucy came up to me and I petted her between the eyes. I had a glass of sweet tea with me. She kept trying to put her nose into itof course, her nose wouldn't fit into the glass. Lucy started pushing me from behind. Then, she came around to my side and put her head against me. She was starting to scare me because I didn't know what to do.
My niece told me that Lucy just likes me, but it didn’t feel that way to me. What did I do and how can I not aggravate her again? Was the sweet tea something she wanted? I really like Lucy and would like to be able to be around her.
Kathleen, it sounds like Lucy smelled your tea and was soliciting you to give her some. If you observe horses interacting with one another around a food source, it is not unusual for the horse waiting her turn to use her head to push another horse aside to obtain access. This is especially true if the horse doing the waiting is young, like Lucy. If the horse who is waiting is the herd leader, she would be more likely to pin her ears and nip the other horse to move him out of the way.
Personally, I am not all that thrilled to be pushed about by a horse’s head. To decrease the behavior, simply be sure that Lucy’s nudging is never rewarded with the delivery of food or attention. She might actually increase the behavior for a bitbecause it used to workbut she will eventually stop.