Gaining Respect and Keeping My Horse Focused? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-19-2013, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow Gaining Respect and Keeping My Horse Focused?

I recently bought a new horse, 6 yrs old, broke to ride but needs a tune up. (thats what the owner said when I bought him). Well, to me he needs alot more than a tune up. I tried lunging him because I know ground work is always a first in gaining respect and trust. Well, he acts like he has a hard time focusing on me, instead he is always neighing at the horses in pasture. Well I worked with him enough to have enough faith in myself to hop on him. Today I rode him for the first time (in a hackamore, he cant use a bit because of his wolf teeth).
Again, he acts barn sour, which I dont understand because hes new here and hes never truly been "away" from the barn. When I try and get him to move forward he backs up and is always wanting to go to the arena side where the pasture connects. So I do circles with him and he favors going one way more than the other but he is very stubborn with it.

I would just like some tips to keep him focused on me and not always wanting to go to the other horses.
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-19-2013, 09:29 PM
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How long have you had him? It is possible he is barn sour, new place and he wants to be with others to feel safe.......
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-20-2013, 02:02 AM
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My TB gelding was never barn sour until I moved him to a new barn. Now he thinks every horse there is his best friend. He got away frome the other day and literally leaped over the arena fence to get back to his barn (he was pissed because I made him keep working even though all the horses had left the arena - so dramatic)

Anyways, my advice would be to just try to work trough his barn sour-ness. Just push him forward and make him keep moving when he starts balking to go back to the barn. If he is still a brat then make him work - hard. I think he will eventually put two and two together. Being barn sour = harder work.

Good luck and have fun with your new boy :)
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-20-2013, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderspark View Post
How long have you had him? It is possible he is barn sour, new place and he wants to be with others to feel safe.......
Exactly! It's a new place. He knows he is safe with other horses (natural instinct). So he will want to be with them.

I'll have to repost with a reply of what I'd do.
Give him a week or more to settle in but interact with him in the meantime.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-20-2013, 02:30 AM
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A friend bought a horse that was rode only 2 or 3 times. I went along when he bought him. I tried lunging him the horse and he did ok. When I tried him back at our place was another story. He acted like he never lunged before. It took me being consistent and patient. I finally broke through after several tries before he lunged correctly. That is the key: patience and being consistent.
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Last edited by usandpets; 10-20-2013 at 02:34 AM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-20-2013, 03:47 AM
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Horses will "bond for life" with a horse they have only seen on a 15 minute trailer ride, and spend entire time at show AND in the ring screaming for their new best friend forever. NOT a good way to place in the ribbons by the way.

And new place or not, he is not well trained which is part of the problem with the calling out to other horses, and not wanting to go where you want him too.

You are going to have to keep working him and be alert for any signs on the ground as well that he is not seeing you as a leader as that more than anything will lead to continuing problems with horse.

Your handling methods may also be too soft.

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post #7 of 11 Old 10-22-2013, 04:30 PM
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i'd make him WORK
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-22-2013, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by showjumperachel View Post
My TB gelding was never barn sour until I moved him to a new barn. Now he thinks every horse there is his best friend. He got away frome the other day and literally leaped over the arena fence to get back to his barn (he was pissed because I made him keep working even though all the horses had left the arena - so dramatic)

Anyways, my advice would be to just try to work trough his barn sour-ness. Just push him forward and make him keep moving when he starts balking to go back to the barn. If he is still a brat then make him work - hard. I think he will eventually put two and two together. Being barn sour = harder work.

Good luck and have fun with your new boy :)

It's not just that you make him work, but that you make him work where he wants to be, and make away from the horses be a good place to be, so he doesn't work there. So, if he wants to go back to the barn, you let him go back to the barn but you make make him work work work right there, and then you ask if him back toward the arena. If he walks toward the arena you let him walk quietly toward the arena, then you let them stand. The idea is away from the barn he doesn't have to work, it's a nice place. Near the barn, where he wants to be he has to work his toosh off.

Eventually, he will choose to be in the arena because there's less work there.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-22-2013, 09:45 PM
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with horses like this I don't get to worked up about their behavior. New horses are always fun to work with they give you lots of opportunities to train. Keep in your mind what you want this horse to be, and how you want him to act. Then just keep moving toward what you expect a horse to be. If you stay consistent your horse will learn your rules. For me number one rule every new horse has to learn is:
1a. I am number one.
1b. You do not push, bite, kick or threaten to do anyone of these to me EVER.
2a. You need to know when I want you to move away from me.
2b. You need to know when I want you to stand still and let me approach you.
3. You need to know when you have my attention you better pay attention to me.

Every horse that comes to the camp I work at very quickly learns these 5 rules. I except nothing less and what happened when they forget or don't know these rules? Life gets hard and very un-peaceful.

Your horse will be fine IF you are consistent and hold to a set of expectations. All horse training comes down to a very easy idea:
1 apply pressure
2 get the correct response
3 release the pressure
Its that easy, what and when to apply pressure, how quickly you can see the correct response, and how quickly you can release the pressure take years and we can always do it better.

Good luck I hope this was helpful.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-22-2013, 10:08 PM
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Tiny: that is a great idea! I might try that next time he decides to be a pill. And when I say "got away from me"...I mean I took off his bridle to free lunge him and thats when he bolted for home . Not the smartest idea I've ever had, to say the least.
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