First time barn horse turns sour
 
 

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First time barn horse turns sour

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  • How to retrain a barn sour horse
  • Stopping horses from going back to barn

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    12-28-2011, 03:15 PM
  #1
Weanling
First time barn horse turns sour

I've bought my first horses. I've had lessons off and on all of my life and finally bought a house with acerage and a barn. I've bought a 10yo paso fino gelding and a 10yo quarter hourse/mustang. They've been together for several years and I bought them as a pair. They were housed in an open corral before I bought them and they were pasture horses before that. They've never had access to a barn or shelter of any sort.

I've had them for 2 months. The paso fino is rather skittish in the barn. He has to stand in the opening looking out. He's fine out in the open but does not like not being able to see. The mustang loves the barn.

My problem is that the longer I have them the less they want to leave it. They have become INCREDIBLY barn sour. I'm at a loss. What can I do to get my horses to stop turning around and taking me right back into the barn?

I live in WY and it's incredibly windy here in the winter. I think this might have something to do with it.
     
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    12-28-2011, 04:16 PM
  #2
Weanling
This is about as helpful as the book I read on the subject. :P
     
    12-28-2011, 04:30 PM
  #3
Foal
We don't raise "hot-house flowers" on our farm here in Kentucky. I know the geographic difference will dictate different weather constraints, but our animals don't live in the barn. Our horses are horses and our goats are goats. They live outside unless it's freezing rain or some other life threatening or health condition. Under normal conditions, we have our barn gated and the animals are not allowed inside. The barn for for equipment and hay storage. I know; this won't solve your problem, but that's where we are at now. We didn't start that way, I can assure you. But years of farm management brought us to this point and it is working very well. We also have designed our barn to be "modular" with gates throughout the entire area except for a hay storage area that has actual walls to protect the hay from wind/weather/elements. We can move panels to accommodate as needed, changing the size of a stall to suit the requirement.

That said, you have a serious problem on your hands and I don't have a good method for repairing the problem, except to separate the two from each other. That, or let them live together, but that will only perpetuate the problem. The best solution that I can think of is to move one to another area where they can't see each other. This may not be possible if you only have a few acres, but that's how I would handle it. Sorry I can't be more helpful, but barn sour is bad, and herd sour is too. I have simply ridden through the issue, but that can be dangerous riding, for sure.
     
    12-28-2011, 04:50 PM
  #4
Weanling
When they try to go back to the barn what do you do, what do they do?

When I trained my young horses and they try to go back to the barn or with the other horses. I will correct them and send them on. If they don't go on when I tighten up on my legs then I touch them w/ my spur. That usually does the trick. I have their respect from doing a lot of ground work first.

When I am going back to the barn I never allow the horse to turn in toward the barn without me turning them toward the barn. If they do, I will ride them right pass the barn and will ride up and down the road in front of the barn until it was my idea to turn in.

Also, I never ride right up to the barn. I have a certain place that I stop every horse before I get to the barn. That is where I dismount and walk them into the barn. I start and stop at this spot every time. I do not have any trouble with any of my horses being barn sour. I just don't let them get by with it. I had one horse who would try to rear up a little and back up but a lot of one rein circles soon stopped that.

I hope this helps. It is hard to say without knowing exactly what they are doing when they want to go back to the barn.
     
    12-28-2011, 05:03 PM
  #5
Weanling
I guess my main problem is I was taught to ride horses, not own them. It's a totally different experience for me.

In the beginning I could ride for awhile before they'd decide they were done and take me back to the barn. Now it's a fight from the time I get on to the time I get off.

My mare simply continuously turns toward the barn and rides right inside and stops. She then won't move an inch. I have to dismount and lead her out of the barn before getting back on. I have tried circling her. Pulling her head around and just circling until she stops but it's pretty unsucessful. I was led to believe horses had to be looking where they were going. Not so for her. She can have her head facing her ass and she still walks towards that barn.

My gelding will simply refuse to move. You can beat the crap out of him with your heels and he won't budge.

I don't have spurs and I've never hit them with anything. My mare is fairly fearful to begin with so I'm hesitant to hit her. If spurs or a crop are the solution I'm willing to go get some.


Also, I'm fairly certain I have no respect. How do I get that?
     
    12-28-2011, 06:13 PM
  #6
Weanling
Do you have a round pen or a lunge line?

I would start out doing ground manners to teach respect. I would google the internet and look for video's that teach how to gain horses respect by doing ground work. Do a little research on training your horses for respect. I don't remember the name of it but Clint Anderson has several video's about round penning for respect. Someone else may know.
I do a lot of round penning on all my young horses before I ride them the first time. It is hard for me to explain it to you. I suggest for you to watch videos on it.

I would never ride a horse into a barn. There is to many things that could happen. Is there anyway you can prevent them from going into the barn with you on them?
     
    12-28-2011, 07:04 PM
  #7
Foal
I had a stallion that was herd bound. It took two solid weeks of me leading him a mile from home then riding before he would ride away from the herd. There are probably better ways to accomplish this but I was a teenager at the time and it worked!

I've found persistence and consistency to be very good tools. If they realize they are going to go that direction no matter what they do, they eventually stop fighting. Ground work is an excellent way to develop communication with your horse. When you develop a relationship and they understand you AND understand that you are the "lead" or "boss", they will trust you, want to please and stop challenging you.

Dancing with Horses by Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling is an excellent book. It talks about herd dynamics, establishing yourself as the lead and how your body language can give mixed messages.

Good luck and don't give up! It's a learning curve. Even though I've been around horses most of my life I'm still learning every day.
     
    12-29-2011, 10:18 AM
  #8
Weanling
I don't have a round pen. I do have a large coral but it's more of a rectangle. I'm going to try to start lunging this weekend.
Thank you!

Oh, P.S. I've never ridden them into the barn but they've taken me in. It was quite without my permission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrantley    
Do you have a round pen or a lunge line?

I would start out doing ground manners to teach respect. I would google the internet and look for video's that teach how to gain horses respect by doing ground work. Do a little research on training your horses for respect. I don't remember the name of it but Clint Anderson has several video's about round penning for respect. Someone else may know.
I do a lot of round penning on all my young horses before I ride them the first time. It is hard for me to explain it to you. I suggest for you to watch videos on it.

I would never ride a horse into a barn. There is to many things that could happen. Is there anyway you can prevent them from going into the barn with you on them?
     
    12-29-2011, 10:26 AM
  #9
Started
Could you try riding them out one at a time away from the barn. When they want to go back let them but then lunge them hard or cut the large field in half with temp fencing and free work him in there. But the work out must be hard and cause him to sweat and /or give into you. Then when he gives into your pressure mount again and head off to the trail at a walk. So they learn work is at home , relaxing is on trail..
tbrantley and furbabymum like this.
     
    12-29-2011, 11:12 AM
  #10
Weanling
Thank you. I will give this a try!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kait18    
could you try riding them out one at a time away from the barn. When they want to go back let them but then lunge them hard or cut the large field in half with temp fencing and free work him in there. But the work out must be hard and cause him to sweat and /or give into you. Then when he gives into your pressure mount again and head off to the trail at a walk. So they learn work is at home , relaxing is on trail..
     

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