Barn Sour... and more. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-18-2008, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Florida
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Barn Sour... and more.

Okay, So as I've posted in Horse Pictures I'm now helping with three of my friend's horses. Two of which haven't been seriously ridden in months and the other is a 4 month old mini colt. For the two horses I have a few bugs to work out, but the little colt is an angel, just wondering what would be good to work on with him. Oh and by the way, as soon as possible the colt's gonna get cut, so no worries there. ^.^

For the first horse... My problem with Buster is that he KNOWS I'm a bit rusty and haven't ridden in months. And to add to it, the last horse I was riding was the complete opposite to him. He was spooky where Buster is bombproof, he was fast while Buster is slow. He was a tall, excitable, OTTB where Buster is a short, stocky, lazy, draft pony. Ha ha, get the picture? XD

Buster is an absolute sweetheart and totally respects me on the ground. He'll respond to anything I ask him as far as working on the ground goes. But once I'm up in the saddle it's a different story. He plays barn sour with me. I KNOW he's not barn or buddy sour, he's just doing it to test me. He also will not go any faster than a walk for me. I know he's testing me and I NEVER let him get away with being like this. I always make him work even if it is only at a walk for now. I don't let him stop at the gate and only let him stop at my consent. He's absolutely fine on trails. He'll do whatever I ask there but in the ring he's just totally different. I'm thinking I may get some itty bitty spurs to make him listen to my leg for a while, until I've got him completely figured out. I know it's not a final solution but he's pretty much dead to my leg as it is. Any other advice or tips? I may be rusty but I am a good rider, ha ha, erg, I never should have taken a break from it. >.<

Now the problem with the other horse is a bit more complicated. Houdini is a 7 year old QH gelding who is an absolutely beautiful mover. He was trained reining and cutting and was a working ranch horse before they got him but really hasn't been ridden much at all lately, just like Buster. He works mostly off of your seat and legs and doesn't take much rein. Mostly I just need to figure out all his buttons, and there;'s not much advice you could give me on that, I just gotta ride, ha ha. But the problem seems to be that he will buck at the canter. They're not big bucks at all, just little ones. I don't really know what I'm asking because I know all about keeping his head up and keep him moving forward and not giving him the means to buck. 8) His other problem is that he seems to get sore a lot whether you ride with a saddle or bareback. I'm going to be giving him back massages after I ride or just whenever I get out there. I'll definitley be working on stretching also and I use a liniment rub on both of the horses after I ride.

I guess just any advice on either situations or aspects of them is appreciated. Like I said, the last horse I worked with and the ones I usually do have completely different problems so these are new things to work out for me. Thanks in advance you guys. :]

Oh, and as for the little mini Turner.
Right now we're working on picking up his feet and leading. He's doing very well with both by the way and makes progress every day. We also will mess with him and get him used to being touched all over. The kids come out a lot and we want to be sure neither of them will get hurt so we'll kind lean on him and bit and lead him around and mess with his ears, and whatever. You know. He really is such a dream though. He's really down to earth and is basically okay with everything we do to him. He's such a good little boy.

Anything else you can think of to work with him on?

I give myself very good advice, But I very seldom follow it
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-19-2008, 12:04 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Well, as per Buster, I definately don't see anything wrong with spurs so long as they are used responsibily.
He needs to realize that you are boss and respect that. So far, he's not. He's completely ignoring you and only doing as much as he feels like doing, which is a big no-no.

If he responds better to the spurs, I'd start with working on his flxion and lateral movements.
From a standstill, flex his head and ask him to move - either his hip, his shoulder, his ribcage.
Once he is responding respectively to your leg, you should need minimal pressure and he should bend and move where you're asking him too.
The leg yeild is an excellent excercise for this, and it also involves movement that once he masters, he will be able to do at a trot and lope. Don't rush it though, that takes a lot of time.
His problem is that he is just not respecting your role as leader, and you need to reinforce that.

As for Houdini, I'm going to say he's bucking because he's sore, obviously.
You said he's sore wether he's ridden bareback or with a saddle, so it's obviously not a poorly fitting saddle problem.
I would consider getting a professional Equine Massage Therapist out to take a look at him. As good as we can be with massages, they know what to look for more precisely.
I would also consider a vet, to give him a full body examination to see if he could pinpoint a problem for his soreness.
Where is he sore? Leg, shoulder, back?
A horse will not cooperate no matter how broke if it causes him pain, nor should he, really. I know that if I was sore there's no way I'd let someone on my back and run me around.
I think he's telling you nicely (as opposed to totally freaking out )he's telling and asking you to stop by crow hopping and not telling you to get the heck off right now by going into a bronc fit, and until the problem with why he's sore is addressed there's really nothing more to say on that.

As for Turner, he is young and only has a small attention span at four months old.
Daily handling such as you've been doing - halter, leading, picking up his feet, catching, etc is great for him - just remember to keep his sessions short.
They do have limited attention spans and you don't want him to get over worked and frustrated with human interaction.
Usually about two or three 15 minutes intervals a day would be good for him. It's long enough to teach his lessons, but short enough that he will pay attention the whole time.

Best of luck with everyone, and let us know how they go. :)

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-19-2008, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the advice!
I'm going to be getting some little spurs to use with Buster as soon as I can. In the meantime I'll continue working with him. Maybe do some lunging rather than riding in the meantime though.

Houdini gets a sore back to be more specific. I can't get a vet out or a professional equine massage therapist because he's not my horse. But, I do know that Buster's owner (who happens to be Houdini's owner's daughter) knows a lot about equine massage, whether she's certified I do not know. But I'm sure If I ask she'll work on him a bit and hopefully if we continue to do this he'll feel a little better. Anything else you can suggest besides calling in someone? He hasn't been seriously ridden in a while, as I've said, so is there any way this has to do with that?

I make sure to keep it short with Turner. We do 10 minute training sessions and than I like to hand graze him or he gets to be a little wild man in the arena. He LOVES galloping around in there.

I give myself very good advice, But I very seldom follow it
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-19-2008, 02:25 PM
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Location: Alberta, Canada
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Lunging is a great way to re-inforce the basics and to reteach respect. He should go, stop, and turn all with the slightest of commands (body position is really important when doing this).
Horses really need to respect you on the ground before they will begin to respect you in the saddle.

As for Houdini - I would make the suggestion of having either a vet/massage therapist come out to take a look at him.
Back problems are really not something to be taken lightly, really....
Does he seem as if he's getting anymore sore?
You can tell by his stride length (if he is short stepping more with one leg - not reaching the full length of his other legs) and by how much is head bobs up and down.
It could be that he's pulled a muscle because he's been off for a while and then put to work.
Was he worked strenously when he was re-started?
Perhaps he just needs a week off with just hand walking him and daily massages to see if that'll help to ease his discomfort.

Turner will run around kicking up his heels because really, at four months old, that's his job!
Is Turner weaned already?
It's how he's going to entertain himself and just be a horse.
It's sort of like watching a six year old kid running around jumping through sprinklers, if you will. :)
But hand grazing is a good idea, to let him have some down time with human company.
Whenever I pick up a horse that needs a lot of work, I'll do that and take them for walks down the road on the halter, just to get them used to me but doing something they can enjoy at the same time.
He sure is a lil cutie though! :)

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-19-2008, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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I'll definitley make the suggestion about having someone come out and take a look at Houdini's back if he doesn't start to get better. And he hasn't been worked strenuously at all since he's started back. I've only been walking with a little bit of trotting both with the saddle on and bareback. The last time I rode him is when I asked him to canter and he did the bucking thing. I made him work through it but than I just walked him, suspecting it to be soreness. He doesn't bob his head or anything but you can definitley feel it in his stride, if you know what I mean, when we're trotting. I think I'll just keep it light and stick to walking and short trail rides until he's feeling better. Maybe splash around in the pond to keep him entertained. As I've posted in another thread he tends to stock up too so I do need to keep him active.

I'll only be able to get out there to ride him a couple of times a week but he's turned out all day anyways.

And yes, Turner's weaned. He gets turned out a lot to just be a horse so no worries there. He gets lots of horse time with a good amount of people and bonding time too. And that little bit of training thrown in. Once he master's being led I think I'll walk him up and down the lake shore for fun, or take him by the pond. He'd love that. :]

I give myself very good advice, But I very seldom follow it
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