I seem to have a problem. Maybe it has been answered somewhere in the forum, so you can just guide me there then or maybe I have just missed something...but: My horse takes the "don't mug me" thing as a totally different exercise from all the others. She performs it with excellence, turning her head away and not mugging me and so on. But as soon as I start asking something else or give my attention to another activity, she is sure to mug me again. And again I repeat the "don't mug me" exercise with outstretched hand or pull myself away from her and she turns away like she is supposed to...and again, as soon as I try to to anything else - she tries to mug me. And I always go in front and ask her to stand straight before treating (as I am not rewarding mugging and I don't let her get the treat herself, but I give it to her). She is persistent. Any ideas?
I can think of a number of approaches but from your description only, one thought occurs.
Some horses are anxious about food when it's used for treats. Not that they are especially hungry (but that can be a factor) but that slowing or withholding delivery after the terminal bridge (usually your click or key word that says they are about to get a treat/reward) can get them into an anxious state of mind.
It's sort of like mom calling us to have a snack, and we get to the kitchen only to discover she's just started to prepare it. We get rowdy waiting.
With other horses, and on rare occasions with Bonnie our yearling, this happens occasionally and I know to run a little series of asking them for things I know they an do (so there's no reason for a slowdown) and I really shove the treats quickly into their mouths.
I can almost hear their sigh of relief. It tends, as food did when we were tiny babies with our mommies, to create a trust and attachment bond between us.
I try not, with these horses, or even with very easy to handle Bonnie, to do training of any intensity when they are hungry.
Donald, Altea and Bonnie