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post #11 of 23 Old 06-24-2010, 04:29 PM
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I have a similar situation (recent) to relate :)
Last summer I was asked to work with a four year old arab/morgan pony mare who had gone badly ring sour but was also never trail ridden because the previous rider was lacking confidence (to the maxx!) . She was afraid to bring her out of the ring because this mare was known to be spooky. Eventually it got to the point where she would not do anything for you in that one ring.
So I started with ground work first. I would lunge her before the ride then take her out to our larger arena (where she had never been). For the first few weeks, I could only do walk trot with her. If she bucked or refused to walk past the gate, she would work harder! She got the idea soon enough that she was going to be ridden no matter what, and she better just do what she was told!lol.
As a coolout I would walk her up the road (in hand) or on the trails. She got to the point where she would work well in the ring, and then LOVE the trailride/coolout afterwards because she recognized it as the end of our ride. So now she thinks of it as a BIG Treat when I just bring her out for a trail ride.
So for your guy, I think the suggestions that other people have said are good. They're all basically the same idea, just different techniques.
Good luck :)


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post #12 of 23 Old 06-25-2010, 06:10 PM
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Ya got to out think them!!
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post #13 of 23 Old 06-26-2010, 02:18 AM
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I'm having this problem too only I'm not too clear on the advice given

The trail outside my barn isn't narrow but it does have rocks and cactus and bad footing off the literal path. So no room to do large circles or fight much.

When my guy wants to go home he hops sideways and rears a bit and fights with me. I can't get him to turn/bend right but I make him walk in circles to the left.

I made him go as far as we could and stayed there and walked in circles or stood until he would relax, loosen up and lick his lips but as soon as I'd ask him to walk on he'd tense up all over again.

So we walked back to the end of the trail and then back out again to the place he refuses to pass. Then, on the way back to the barn that time he went a little nuts and I had to dismount to get us safely back onto the barn. Of course, as soon as we are there he relaxed immediately and started loving on me.

Yesterday we went on an hour long trail ride with some friends and two horses and he did AMAZING! He settled in nicely to the trail and was a perfect gentleman for the most part. Same issue as the OP, with horses he is fantastic but alone he's a spaz!

Any clarification on that advice? Is it better to go out a little bit and head back and try to make it longer trips each time or does that encourage him to freak out so that he gets to go back?



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post #14 of 23 Old 06-26-2010, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deerly View Post
Any clarification on that advice? Is it better to go out a little bit and head back and try to make it longer trips each time or does that encourage him to freak out so that he gets to go back?
As long as your horse thinks that going back is your idea and not his, it's OK. Similar to disciplining your horse with an immediate response so they associate their action and discipline, you want to insure that they don't associate their action (bucking, backing, etc) with going back. At the very least, make him stop, stand, and wait until he relaxes a bit before going back. Do simple stuff (turns, etc) if there is room, or you can even dismount, take a break for a few minutes and then mount to go back.

Also, try and figure out why your horse is barn sour. In my experience, I've seen two types... 1) ones that just want to be back with their buddies and 2) ones that are afraid to be out alone. I look at the eyes...if they have that wide eyed, terrified look when you keep pushing them forward, you've got a #2.
For #1, I'll push them along and take the time to 'wait them out' until they realize that I'm not going back yet. Eventually, they do give in and they're fine.
For #2, I'll push them to their limit, stop and relax them, and try and push them a little further, find another path, or go back. You don't want a fight with a scared horse because they've stopped 'thinking', instinct has taken over, and you'll lose. I'll keep taking the exact same path over and over until it does get to be routine.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #15 of 23 Old 06-26-2010, 02:17 PM
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Thanks for the advice!

He might be a number two but he doesn't so much have the wild look in his eyes but the heavy breathing, snorting, ZOMG WORLD look.

I know why he is barn sour -- for the past year of his life he has not seen anything outside the immediate vicinity of his stall/the ranch because he was neglected and no one did anything with him.

With friends he is great. A little jumpy at first but he settles in. Alone, panic! I think he's just overwhelmed by the outside world and vastness and no horses around.

One more question. Is it better to keep going out with friends when we can or would this make the problem worse?



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post #16 of 23 Old 06-26-2010, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deerly View Post
He might be a number two but he doesn't so much have the wild look in his eyes but the heavy breathing, snorting, ZOMG WORLD look.
Snorting is indeed another "I'm really afraid" reaction.


Quote:
Is it better to keep going out with friends when we can or would this make the problem worse?
It is a good thing to do and won't make the problem worse. With young, inexperienced ones that I work with to make road safe, I typically alternate (not necessary every other time) ponying them with our lead mare and taking them out alone. You're really tackling two problems, 1) the spookiness/inexperience and 2) the being out alone. Although riding with another horse doesn't help 2), the more relaxed your horse is just going out in the world, the easier it is to work on the going alone problem.

Repetition, patience, miles. The real world is a scary place.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #17 of 23 Old 06-26-2010, 02:49 PM
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agree - try to get your horse to associate the barn with working. I try to unsaddle outside the barn - in different locations - so that your horse becomes unsure where exactly the rest stop is - I know it is tough (since it means you lugging the saddle back) but definitely helps. You may also try some lunging after the ride. Good luck.
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post #18 of 23 Old 06-29-2010, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares View Post
As long as your horse thinks that going back is your idea and not his, it's OK. Similar to disciplining your horse with an immediate response so they associate their action and discipline, you want to insure that they don't associate their action (bucking, backing, etc) with going back. At the very least, make him stop, stand, and wait until he relaxes a bit before going back. Do simple stuff (turns, etc) if there is room, or you can even dismount, take a break for a few minutes and then mount to go back.

Also, try and figure out why your horse is barn sour. In my experience, I've seen two types... 1) ones that just want to be back with their buddies and 2) ones that are afraid to be out alone. I look at the eyes...if they have that wide eyed, terrified look when you keep pushing them forward, you've got a #2.
For #1, I'll push them along and take the time to 'wait them out' until they realize that I'm not going back yet. Eventually, they do give in and they're fine.
For #2, I'll push them to their limit, stop and relax them, and try and push them a little further, find another path, or go back. You don't want a fight with a scared horse because they've stopped 'thinking', instinct has taken over, and you'll lose. I'll keep taking the exact same path over and over until it does get to be routine.
My girl is definitely a #1! She's totally not afraid. . .just persistantly stubborn
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post #19 of 23 Old 06-29-2010, 10:00 PM
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We went out with one friend today and he was such a champ. Not the least bit jiggy or impatient to get back home either, even when we were really close! When we got back we did a little bit of arena work just for good measure and he had no problem with anything.

That makes me think that we need to work on our under saddle relationship and put more miles under us so he trusts me and doesn't need a companion to feel safe on the trails. It makes sense, he's only been cleared for riding for a week so we have a long ways to go for that trust :)



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post #20 of 23 Old 06-30-2010, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deerly View Post
We went out with one friend today and he was such a champ. Not the least bit jiggy or impatient to get back home either, even when we were really close! When we got back we did a little bit of arena work just for good measure and he had no problem with anything.

That makes me think that we need to work on our under saddle relationship and put more miles under us so he trusts me and doesn't need a companion to feel safe on the trails. It makes sense, he's only been cleared for riding for a week so we have a long ways to go for that trust :)
Wonderful! Yes, miles and time.

We always throw the 'trust' word around but most people fail to think about what we're asking of our horses. It is easy to think that if our horse doesn't 'trust' us, we have done something wrong, or worse, we mistakenly associate the human emotions 'like' or 'love' with 'trust'. Some horse are naturally bolder and more curious than others, but out in the world trust comes only with time and experience and there are no quick fixes or shortcuts.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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