Food Oriented and Rushing to barn - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-29-2012, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NC
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Unhappy Food Oriented and Rushing to barn

I ride my 21 yr horse in a english loose ring snaffle with the bars being thicker. The other day, I had to do a lot of one rein stops because it was near feeding time and I was riding him in the arena with the gate open and he would run out at the trot and not paying attention to me and would practically run into the wooded fence because he was trying to get out instead of turn the curve like I wanted. I tried to turn him to prevent him from going out and that is when we would just about hit the fence and he'd use that to his advantage to scrape me against the fence. So, we'd be out.
And he'd rush out to the barn (trot) and I did the one rein stop to get him to stop and he'd finally listen to me. He fought me for a few seconds on that, but we got through it. I turned him in a circle to go back to the arena and he'd turn and go the other way but I'd get him back to the arena. Then, I'd circle him in the arena at the walk and get him listening to me, which he was. He did it good, turned and walked nicely. Then, we'd get close to the arena exit and he'd run out again with me still preventing him from going outside and didn't have enough time to use my crop that I had with me. So, did more one rein stops. But finally, I got him to do two large circles in front of the arena. He did good, walking past the entrance and not turning around to the barn, but kept on the circle. Then we went back inside the arena quietly, and then did two large circles by the arena exit and then we walked back outside. And then he did fine. Before I dismounted and I turned him around and walked toward the arena and then dismounted. He's a little food oriented.... Of course when I had my instructor to ride him at the same time two weeks ago, he didn't do any of that. Did perfect. And he does lessons with kids, and does perfect...I don't let him get away with stuff like that but it's annoying how he keeps doing it to me every time. Any tips with what to do, or if I did wrong, or anything? And I wasn't scared I sang out loud and was fine ! Happy about that.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-29-2012, 10:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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If he trys this again let him go back to the barn but once he gets there work the snot out of him. Do not let him relax at all work him until he is sweaty. Then walk away from the barn back into the arena, just walk around the arena let him relax. If he trys to go back to the barn go there and work the snot out of him. Then go back into the arena and let him walk/rest Right now he is associating the barn with feed and rest. Make it a place where he has to work his a** off and he won't be so motivated to head back there.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-29-2012, 10:58 PM
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I think it's better to adjust your schedule to his. He's not about to give up a meal he's waited a while for, especially if he's getting grain at his meals.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-01-2012, 05:11 PM
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You won the battle but to win the war you are going to have to get a lot tougher!
When he is taking you towards the gate do not be frightened to really haul on one rein, preferably the one that against the gate side, Carry your whip in the outside hand and if he hangs to the gate use it down his shoulder if you do not have the confidence to use it behind your leg.
Work him at the top end of the arena and not at a walk, make him trot and canter on a big circle furthest from the gate.

He doesn't play toe instructor up because he knows that they mean business and he has to realise that you mean the same.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-01-2012, 07:51 PM
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If you overuse the one rein stop? It will cease to have any effect at all.

This horse has some serious issues with you as rider/handler and those need to be fixed. The fact that he is not doing it with others, tells me it is more you than him.

Take some time and look into how you handle this horse, leading, feeding, haltering/unhaltering to see if you are telegraphing to him that you are lower than he is.

And while working him when back at barn might seem logical? To the horse, he has won, because where is he? The barn, where he wanted to go anyway. And working/leaving/working/leaving will only make this worse I think, but might not.

However, as to him associating food with barn, until you get some control over him, this is not going to stop. And the fact that he has drug you off using fences, if I read OP correctly, means you badly need to get more instruction in your handling techniques.

And too, this horse doesn't respect you enough to put up with in/out routine suggested above by several posts, and I think this is a recipe for disaster, considering horse's ability to win this battle already.

Horses make me a better person.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-02-2012, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NC
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Palomine, I don't understand why you think he won the battle because he didn't go back to the barn until he was behaving both in and out of arena by the gate. Also, I don't feed him, he's boarded. I was thinking maybe that's another reason why he didn't do it to that other person because she sometimes feeds him. But, I don't really let him push me around on the ground when I'm handling him or anything. I am a little timid sometimes but usually he does fine. He mainly gets that bad when it's near or at feeding time.
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