Bad past leaving horse petrified of barn. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 06-12-2013, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Bad past leaving horse petrified of barn.

Let me make a long story short and to the point.

My gelding had to of been in a pretty traumatizing expierence in or near a barn.

When I got him in Nov 2012 we were boarded at a place where he was boarded 24/7 365. Only time I ever went into the barn was when I was tacking up to ride which wasn't often. He was PETRIFIED of that barn. Refused to walk in, snorted, bug eyed, ran me over multiple times by getting into my space and crowding me(that didn't fly with me).

Anyway, I moved barns and almost instantly he was 70% better in this one. Not too sure why. But here he is brought in every day and eats in his stall twice a day.

If he is in a stall for more then 30 mins he gets ancy and just waits at the door wide eyed like the boogey man is in there with him. I do make sure there's hay in there if I know he's going to be in alittle longer and lately he doesn't care. He will pick at it, pace alittle, wait at the door and occasionally he will kick the door as hard as he can with his front feet. He's gotten better with the kicking though. Monday he was in his stall for over an hour, kicked 4 times and I screamed at him and he stopped. He use to do it so bad that he broke out of his stall once so I had to install a metal gate door that I knew wasn't going anywhere.

Even on cross ties he is a pest sometimes but not as bad as him being stalled. On Monday, when he was stalled for over an hour once I took him out he was all worked up. Not sweating but frazzled and snorting and wide eyed.

I've thought about leaving him in but I wouldn't put it past him to try kicking down the walls or jumping out.

Normally I wouldn't care about stalling but i do wish to show him in the near future.
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post #2 of 30 Old 06-12-2013, 07:39 PM
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He's being a brat. Stall him for a few hours every day and make him deal with it. You may have to tie him in the stall.
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post #3 of 30 Old 06-12-2013, 09:17 PM
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I recommend walking him through the barn though, and making sure he doesn't step all over you, rush, balk, etc.

As for freaking in the stall, I recommend putting him in there for a short time, then taking him out and put him back in again. So basically put him in each time for a longer period of time, only taking him out when he is calm.

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post #4 of 30 Old 06-12-2013, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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He's in the barn daily. Everyday I groom or pick feet or do something where he's on the cross ties. I'm always walking him in the barn. (The barn is small, 10 stalls)
He isn't pushy like he was previously in this new barn.


I will have to try that. He just seems to get so ancy and works himself up if he doesn't come out when he feel is fit. Then once you let him out he's all frantic, for no reason.
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post #5 of 30 Old 06-13-2013, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Bumping. :)
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post #6 of 30 Old 06-13-2013, 10:31 PM
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Sounds like he is worried that he won't be coming out as before he was constantly there. Is he out to graze at all?

I am her eyes, she is my wings. I am her voice, she is my spirit. I am her human, she is my horse.

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post #7 of 30 Old 06-14-2013, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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He's lives outside 24/7 365. He grazes all day and muzzled outside at night cause he won't stay in a stall
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post #8 of 30 Old 06-14-2013, 03:11 PM
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What wildlife do you have in the area? Is it possible that there is a something prowlng around? what about other boarders? The fact that he dramatically improved when you changed barns suggests something of that nature to me. We had a horse who was great in a stall then went to a barn where there were reports of a mountain lion in the area. There was also a fellow boarder who liked to drink. The mare was bad in the stall until she moved and was away from one or both of those situations.

Its also possible she is just barn sour which may take a certain amount of ignoring. That said, I have also seen horses that are flat out dangerous when stalled (ie rear and strike at anyone who approaches their stall door). In which case the owner decided it was easier to find a run in shed/ 24 hr turn out situation.
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post #9 of 30 Old 06-14-2013, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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I do believe at the old barn there was some sort of wildlife causing that issue. My mares whole dimeanor (sp?) totally changed when we first moved there.
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post #10 of 30 Old 06-14-2013, 10:42 PM
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I have the same issue with my horse, he is petrified of the main tack shed - he will stand just fine at the far end of the hitching posts, but take him any closer and he freaks. We are thinking someone jumped out of it or something (that's the best guess anyone has at least; whatever it was, he associates something negative with the shed). I would assume your horse had some similar kind of incident, be it wildlife or human-related, that made him afraid of the barn.

As far as the kicking and being antsy, leave him be for a while. I'd leave him for an hour tomorrow, an hour and 15 the next day, etc... basically "sacking him out" gradually. Don't take him out while he's kicking, wait until he's been quiet a few minutes. Definitely stay within earshot to make sure he doesn't have an epic meltdown though.

If the kicking persists after a few days, I'd probably give him a sharp "HEY!" so he stops, then walk right back out of sight (don't want him to get the mentality of "If I kick, she comes back to get me").
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