anyone retrained a barn sour horse? - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By Cherie
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 05-13-2011, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3
• Horses: 0
anyone retrained a barn sour horse?

well after 30+ years of horse ownership, i hit the buddy sour jackpot with my latest addition. been reading alot of advice on curing this problem, but was wondering if anyone personally has corrected this vice. bought a 3 yr old gelding last summer who was a little reluctant to leave the barn, but we went on several 4 to 10 mile rides in which he locke it up and spun to the left. so i just kept spinning him around and kept moving forward. always got to where i was going, but the battles became more frequent as he settled into his new home. comes back home a perfect gentleman, no rush no spook.rather than set myself up for defeat, i continued to ride with another horse. as you guessed, he prefers to be behind his buddy, but to liven it up a bit, i usually stick him out front after he burns off a little steam. get the balky behavior, but not as bad. so after 4 months of that, he is just as determined when we leave the barn now. he was green broke when i got him, cute as a button and will go through a 3 fott deep mudhole if you ask.last week i moved him half a mile from the nearest horse went back to lunging, making him focus on me.. kinda dread getting on him, worried i might have the same results. it is so discouraging. i am a 50 year old woman with no health insurance. used to fool with 3 or 4 colts a year, some werea little balky but got over it. all i know is this is getting to me. had to sell the last 2 colts, both really wired up and one broke my leg. this guy is nothing like that,he is safe except i sure would like to take him solo. thanks!
codyhorse is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 Old 05-13-2011, 10:33 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vidor, Texas
Posts: 2,805
• Horses: 3
I would work him hard close to the barn and only let him rest away from the barn.
gigem88 is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 05-13-2011, 07:33 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
Posts: 64
• Horses: 0
I feel for you. At 59, I hate the thought of that ground! My mare, after 10 yrs, still gets that barn sour itch every couple of years. I think I have tried all the remedies/training, we sometimes end up backing out of camp after the first group ride of the year (she doesn't want to go by herself!). Once I found the method that worked, a slight tuneup on her itchy years gets the job done. There is hope. Good luck.
BJJ is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 05-13-2011, 07:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,193
• Horses: 0
Part of his problem may be where you position him with others. Some like to be out front, others in the middle and some bringing up the rear. If he doesn't like being up front it solves nothing by forcing him to do so and only causes him worry. He doesn't feel he's the lead horse and he knows it is somewhere behind him and that he could be in big trouble for taking the lead. Some horses don't like to drag up the rear as they feel vulnerable to attack and want to be in the middle where it's safest.
Saddlebag is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 05-13-2011, 11:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 5,995
• Horses: 0
Of course a horse needs to be trained to go forward any and every time a rider wants it to.

My definition of a trained or 'broke' horse is one that goes anywhere and does anything that the rider asks it to do and does so willingly and without an argument.

No horse that is supposed to be broke to ride has any excuse to stall out and refuse to go anywhere that is reasonable. A horse should ride by itself or with other horses. It should ride in the front or behind or away from any group of horses. Any horse that does any less than this has its rider trained instead of the horse being trained.

Many people over-think a horse's reasoning power and intellect. It is really very simple. A horse either thinks of you as a strong capable leader (or a lead horse) or they lack confidence in a rider's ability to be a strong leader.

The main way you get to be the strong leader that the horse needs is to NEVER change your mind and NEVER let him make any decision. If you set out to go somewhere, do not settle for less than going there.

This means that if a horse tries to turn around to the left and return home, a rider should ALWAYS turn the horse back to the right, kick it 2 or 3 times in the ribs or spank (not tap) it on the butt on his left side and make the horse go on. Make not turning around have consequences. Make the horse hesitate instead of the rider hesitating. Make sure the horse knows that there is a high price to pay for not doing as he has been told.

When a rider responds in a strong way and quickly fixes the problem, then the horse suddenly gains much more respect and trust in that person. If a person avoids the confrontation and avoids MAKING the horse do what was first asked, the person only emboldens the horse's resolve to just stay where he/she is most comfortable -- either at home or with the herd. Every rider needs their horse to be THAT comfortable with them. Their horse needs to feel as safe with them as their herd.

You see --- this problem feeds on itself. Every time the rider gives in to the horse, the horse is just that much more sure that this is not a capable leader and he should never trust this person with his life. Every time a person lets a horse stop and all they do is pet and reassure the horse, they are literally rewarding and thus training that horse to stop and be afraid to go on. Trust and respect is earned by being the boss -- the person in charge -- the herd leader -- the person that NEVER lets the horse have its way -- no matter what.

When the rider has convinced the horse that they will accept nothing less than full compliance, the horse will just go on like a foal following its mother. It will not even question whether it should or shouldn't go somewhere. If you want the horse to bail off of a cliff, it will go. If you want a horse to cross a swollen rushing creek where it has to go down a steep bank in the mud, it should not even hesitate. I cannot even start to count the times I have ridden a green horse through just such a situation and the horse never hesitated -- just went -- like the foal following its mother.

When you get brave and assertive and unwavering, the horse gets just as brave. Don't ask me why this is. I can just tell you that this is how it is and this is what makes a horse have confidence and trust. This is the illusive 'trust' and the kind of 'bond' that so many young members of this board are trying to buy by petting and giving treats and never scolding their horses.

The other thing that still baffles me sometimes is how much happier a horse is that is totally submissive to its rider. It is happy, not nervous, not afraid of anything and not crabby or angry. It is never mad, does not switch its tail or pin its ears. The obedient horse is a happy horse.

On the other hand, the horses that are being ridden by someone that is so afraid they will be too demanding and make the horse not like them and are afraid to hurt their horse's feelings, and on and on and on, have the most miserable unhappy horses in the World. This, again, is just the way it is.
EmilyJoy and ManicMini like this.
Cherie is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 05-15-2011, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3
• Horses: 0

like your line of thought... i don't believe in bribery for horses or kids! when i observe how rough horses are with each other, it is kind of silly to think that reasonable correction applied at the right second could actually hurt them. but there are alot of folks who won't do it.
codyhorse is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 05-15-2011, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Eastern Wisconsin :)
Posts: 143
• Horses: 1
I’m not a horse trainer, and honestly don’t know much about training, but with the help of a more experienced person, I was able to train Spirit out of her barn sour ways. We are still working a bit, but I would say it will only take a couple weeks more and we won’t have any more problems. This is what I did:
Spirit came in with 2 other horses. They had been pretty much left alone, and hadn’t been ridden, for 2 years. I liked Spirit the second I saw her. She had so much jest, and spirit, for an old horse. The owner of the ranch I help at decided that since I liked her so much, she would be the horse I worked the most with. I got to work with her once they got settled into their new home.
At first you couldn’t even take her out of the fence without her freaking out. The first couple times we had to put her back within a couple minutes, otherwise she might have hurt herself. We started by just separating her from the other horses, in the pasture next to theirs. She would scream, pace the fence, paw the ground, and would steam she was sweating so badly. Only after she calmed down would we let her back in with the other horses. It only took a few days before she didn’t freak out.
Next we took her out to the hitching posts, well away from the other horses. After she realized she couldn’t break free, she would keep dancing around, pawing the ground, throwing her head, and screaming of course. We did the same sort of thing, waited until she calmed down before we let her back with the other horses.
Ok, skipping over a few steps, unto riding. I started by just riding her in the pasture next to the other horses. At first she would always try to keep them in her sights, and would always test me to see what she could get away with. She would try to run instead of walk when we were heading in the direction of the other horses, or plant her feet as we got by the gate. Anytime she acted up I’d make her do it the right way over and over again until she gave up fighting me on it. Once I could fully control her at every gait did I start on trail riding.
At first she would keep trying to spin around and head back to the barn, or simply plant her feet and not move. Again it was a matter of making her do it over and over again until she stopping fighting me. I also had the problem of her trying to bolt back to the barn whenever I turned her towards it. I started making her walk slowly back, and stopped every 20 feet or so and making her just stand and wait for my instructions. She would start pawing the ground, or dancing around whenever we stopped, so I’d turn around and head back away from the barn and do it all over.
So skipping again over the next steps we went through I can now ride her without having to worry. Every once in a while she’ll still test me, like try to casually turn a different way, lol, usually back the way we can. Or try to go faster when were heading back home. Those little test are become less and the frequent. Last time we rode we didn’t have a single problem. She’s starting to respect me as a capable leader. I think all and all its just a matter of showing them that they can trust you to handle anything that may happen, to be a strong leader, and just being plain old more stubborn then the horse J

((Sorry I didn’t realize how long the reply was getting. And if any trainers think I did something wrong, please let me know J))
Spirit11 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My horse is barn sour touchofsleep Horse Training 6 03-30-2011 12:32 AM
How do you get a barn sour horse to go on a trail? cecillover Trail Riding 10 08-10-2010 08:02 PM
the barn sour horse RiosDad Horse Training 68 11-04-2009 01:54 PM
Training a horse to NOT be barn sour? grayspeckledgoose Horse Training 5 08-01-2007 06:34 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome