Help! My horse thinks She's too big for the man door! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-04-2013, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
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Help! My horse thinks She's too big for the man door!


I recently moved my horses to a new barn. It is a small private facility, quiet and close to home. Today I was so happy to get out and ride, but when the time came to bring in my tall TB mare Lessa, I could not get her to come through the man door...

As some background she has always been shy about smaller doors. She didn't much care for the door into my parents barn and she was even hesitant about my old stall doors. She is a tall horse and since I have had her she has whacked her head a few times. She is not terrified of the door, she just plants her feet and looks at me like she thinks she wont fit, and yes when she lifts her head up and she is eyeing the top of the door she wont! Unfortunately this is the only door in the barn right now as the big sliding door is very frozen shut. She did go in the man door when I fist brought her there with very little hesitation, maybe it was because it was darker outside then inside when I arrived?

I've pulled on her, I've tried bribing her. I have lead her best horse friend right in in front of her. I've had someone behind her tapping her with a whip and non of it seems to make her interested in going in! I don't want to get too crazy becasue she will whack her head, but short of tugging on her for hours does anyone have a suggestion to get her in the door? Maybe I just won't be able to ride her until that big door thaws out and can be opened! It would however sure be nice to bring her in the barn now and then!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-04-2013, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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Ben has the same issue with one of me barn doors, he is big and it is low, so I treated it the same way as I did with loading so used a lariat behind his butt like this

I walk through the door, keep a gentle tension on the lead rope, and put pressure on the butt rope, and he just walks right through.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-04-2013, 07:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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I think she's trying to tell you she'd rather stay outside. Most horses view a barn or stall as a trap from which there is no escape.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-04-2013, 07:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: An English Girl living in beautiful Alberta, Canada
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It must be possible to unstick the main doors. Brute force or chipping at the ice should work to free them then you can keep them working with de-iced/salt/grit along the bottom.

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-04-2013, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Indiana
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My thought is carry your tack to the horse instead of horse to your tack. But the underlying issue may be trust or fear of confined spaces. Either of which you should work on. Forcing will get you nowhere. A quick ground work run through may have her walkin through that door no problem.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-04-2013, 09:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
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When she is standing outside and it is bright out there, the barn looks dark and unknown. So you are battling the small door as well as what appears to her to be a dark, probably confining space. Try doing this at dawn or dusk, or evening - when the light outside is not so bright. Have a light source on in the barn, but not one that will shine in her eyes from the doorway.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-04-2013, 09:21 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Oops ... Wrong topic.

BB ~ 2014 Trakehner Bratty Mare ~ 1993 CSHA Em ~ 2007 Standardbred

Last edited by NBEventer; 03-04-2013 at 09:23 PM.
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