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This is a discussion on BarnSour! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Easy steps to training pasture sour horse

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    06-24-2010, 12:42 AM
Question BarnSour!

I have a 4 year old Appendix QH, who has been ridden a handful of times. I have ridden her a couple times with other horses and she does great, but alone she pitches a fit and walks really fast backwards toward home.

Today I rode her, and made some good progress by either turning her in small circles while still mounted or getting off and driving her in circles each time she'd do the backing thing. Once she went away from home willingly (ish) I turned around and headed back, but stopped periodically and headed out again, and repeated the battle on a smaller scale, until finally she didn't fight me, and after that time, I turned her around and we came home.
I think she got it- but I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas or tips that have worked for you?
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    06-24-2010, 01:54 PM
I worked with a lot of barn sour horses at a farm I used to work at. The best thing I could find was to figure out a path or a few paths that would lead in a circle heading out to ride and coming back without ever actually backtracking home. That way you continue to make the horse go forward but suddenly they realize they went forward toward home and that they didn't have to turn around to get there. It definetly made for some eager trail horses since they began to assume that every trail, every road, every ride led to home!
    06-24-2010, 02:29 PM
My pony was BAD buddy sour. He would rear and most of the time almost flipped over. Once he even took off and bolted towards home with me on his back. Every few steps he took away from the pasture I would give him a pat, and when he would rear I would make him work. Trot in large circles, etc. (He's very lazy and hates to work, haha.) If your horse backs towards the barn, maybe try backing him away from the barn? Every couple of steps turn and face him away from the barn and give him a pet. Turn him back around and back a few more steps, repeating this. I've never tried doing this, but maybe it'll work for you.
    06-24-2010, 02:49 PM
Poco1220- that sounds like a good idea! Unfortunately, where I live, the only route would involve a 30+ mile ride. . . Or, a lot of bushwhacking through brambles. . . But, perhaps I could trailer to somewhere where there is no reference to which way is "home". . .
Barrelracer892- I did try the backing away from home idea, but she's not real solid on backing on my cue yet (she's got it down pat when the idea is hers- lol!) so basically I've been doing the circling/work/make the wrong thing hard route- which seems to work well, although it becomes really time-consuming! I'm glad she doesn't rear or bolt! I'm more of a chicken than I was in my younger years. . .I'm just not into bucking, rearing and all that jazz!
Thanks for the ideas!
    06-24-2010, 02:54 PM
Haha! I know how that goes! (About the backing on your cue.) It is very time consuming to do the trotting while circling work, but in the long run it really helped my pony. He hasn't had an episode in a very long time. I'm only 17, so I can handle the rearing/bucking/getting thrown all over the place stuff for now. Not looking forward to dealing with it with other horses when I get older!
    06-24-2010, 03:43 PM
It's a pretty simple fix really, but will take some time.

Ride out as far as you can and when he wants to head home, let him, but make him get there in a hurry. Once he gets where he wants to go put his butt to work-HARD. Trot small circles, roll backs along a fence or wall, back back back, more trotting circles with lots of direction changes-WORK. After at least a few minutes of that trot out again on a loose rein and stop to rest, before he trys to turn back if possible. Rest him away from the barn for al least as long as you worked him, if not a min or two longer. Then try to head out further until he wants to head home and repeat the process.

Pretty soon he will associate the barn with work and the trail with relaxing.
    06-24-2010, 04:33 PM
Ktibb, I'll give it a whirl-Thanks!
    06-24-2010, 05:04 PM
Originally Posted by payette    
Ktibb, I'll give it a whirl-Thanks!
Good luck! It may take some time, but training horses usually does :) Like you said, make te right thing easy (rest away from the barn) and the wrong thing difficult (work at the barn). Let us know how it goes!
    06-24-2010, 05:15 PM
Will do! Hopefully it won't take too terribly long- she's a really smart horse! But, she's also very stubborn! I try to approach training sessions/rides with the attitude of "however long it takes". . . And, generally, the next time takes a little while less. . . Thanks for the encouragement!
    06-24-2010, 05:17 PM
Originally Posted by payette    
Will do! Hopefully it won't take too terribly long- she's a really smart horse! But, she's also very stubborn! I try to approach training sessions/rides with the attitude of "however long it takes". . . And, generally, the next time takes a little while less. . . Thanks for the encouragement!
Sounds like you've got it made then!

barnsour, green horse, help!, herdbound, stubborn

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