Herd Sour Gelding UGH!!
 
 

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Herd Sour Gelding UGH!!

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  • Herd sour horse
  • Do horses get old an sour

 
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    12-03-2008, 06:00 PM
  #1
Weanling
Angry Herd Sour Gelding UGH!!

Ok folks, so I know there have been a ton of posts about barn sour/herd sour horses...but here's one more. I have a 9 yr old gelding (pasture kept and is herd leader). He will only work with the confines of the ranch, in the arena or the round pen. If I try to move him towards the start of a trail he refuses. I have tried walking him to the trail and doing circles after a refusal, carrying a crop and reminding him what its for after a refusal, leading him to the trailhead before mounting...its getting very frustrating. He will go out on the trails if we are with another rider with little to no problem.

I am pretty sure it is just herdsourness (he's the same horse that hasn't been worked consistently in a couple years and won't lunge either)but it is getting so frustrating!

Should I just be starting with the basics and see how that goes? He has a lot of ground problems as well, wont take the bit without sticking your fingers in his mouth, wont stand next to a mounting block to be mounted...The mounting block and the bit we are working on almost daily, but the refusing to leave the ranch when its just him and me is getting old really fast.

What do you think?
     
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    12-03-2008, 06:27 PM
  #2
Weanling
Sounds like a respect thing....and he's winning! I'd start with groundwork, groundwork, and more groundwork to establish the YOU are the leader of the herd, not him. Without groundwork to gain respect and let him know who's really in charge, you don't have ground to stand on! Herd mentality!
     
    12-03-2008, 08:27 PM
  #3
Banned
Herd sour normally is a confidence thing. He does not feel confident away from the herd or does not trust you enough to return him to the herd. I'd take him away from the herd and the minute he becomes uneasy, bring him back to the herd. Then repeat. You will get to the point that he'll go all day long and will be fine. He'll know that you will return him to his herd
     
    12-04-2008, 10:56 AM
  #4
Weanling
I think you're right ahearn. We are starting from the beginning today. I know he is super smart so hopefully it wont take forever for it to click that I am the boss. Thanks for the advice!
     
    12-04-2008, 10:24 PM
  #5
Weanling
Let me know what happens! I have had SEVERAL horses that were herd sour...all it took was groundwork ....getting them past the fact that they WILL NOT die without their herd and as a matter of fact, they will enjoy being part of this "New" part of the herd...and man it's is GGGOOOOODDDDD!!!!!
     
    12-07-2008, 06:17 AM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonnyWimps    
herd sour normally is a confidence thing. He does not feel confident away from the herd or does not trust you enough to return him to the herd. I'd take him away from the herd and the minute he becomes uneasy, bring him back to the herd. Then repeat. You will get to the point that he'll go all day long and will be fine. He'll know that you will return him to his herd
i would have to say I disagree with this. By returning him to the herd every time he gets nervous/stubborn, you'd be giving him what he wants and just rewarding his behaviour. Not that im saying you should just drag him away kicking and screaming, lol, but work in small steps.
Like others have said, I think groundwork will help. My gelding does the same thing occasionally, he will stop and refuse to go further, he can be nervy and isn't very confident, but when he does I just consistently ask him to go forward, squeezing and clucking. After a while he\ll get sick of it and move, as soon as he does, even if it is just a step, stop asking and give him a rub and praise him, then as Sonny said return him to the herd, therefore rewarding his obedience.
Each time you go out increase the distance until he is happy to go away from the property. Works with my boy, just requires alot of patience, lol, we once spent more than 1/2 an hour to get him to walk up to a piece of ribbon stuck on a log, haha, he's such a baby. We started off meters away, and each time we'd just get a step closer, and after a few steps i'd take him away for a few minutes to give him a break then come back. But by the end he would walk right up and sniff it and would walk past it back and forth without an issue.

Sorry for the loooong post, lol. Hope it helps!
     
    12-07-2008, 01:06 PM
  #7
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHawk    
i would have to say I disagree with this. By returning him to the herd every time he gets nervous/stubborn, you'd be giving him what he wants and just rewarding his behaviour. Not that im saying you should just drag him away kicking and screaming, lol, but work in small steps.
Like others have said, I think groundwork will help. My gelding does the same thing occasionally, he will stop and refuse to go further, he can be nervy and isn't very confident, but when he does I just consistently ask him to go forward, squeezing and clucking. After a while he\ll get sick of it and move, as soon as he does, even if it is just a step, stop asking and give him a rub and praise him, then as Sonny said return him to the herd, therefore rewarding his obedience.
Each time you go out increase the distance until he is happy to go away from the property. Works with my boy, just requires alot of patience, lol, we once spent more than 1/2 an hour to get him to walk up to a piece of ribbon stuck on a log, haha, he's such a baby. We started off meters away, and each time we'd just get a step closer, and after a few steps i'd take him away for a few minutes to give him a break then come back. But by the end he would walk right up and sniff it and would walk past it back and forth without an issue.

Sorry for the loooong post, lol. Hope it helps!
Remember this is not a dominance issue...it's a nervous issue.

Okay, let's say your horse is DEATHLY afraid of tarps (my horse was). Each time he passes a tarp he makes a HUGE circle around it. You are told to make your horse walk over the tarp. How would you make him walk over it? Would you FORCE your horse to get over his fear? Forcing him to ignore his intuition saying that the tarp is a predator?
He is truely afraid of the tarp, so forcing him just to get over it not only won't solve the problem, but the horse will loose trust in you because you are not being considerate.
Instead, you *should* let hte horse approach and then when he starts getting nervous, turn him right around. Then approach again, and he'll soon go farther and farther and farther until, what do you nkow...he is on the tarp. SOon he'll walk, trot, and canter over the tarp like it's nothing.


The horse is look looking at you as the herd leader instead you are just "the person on his back". Groundwork will help, but forcing the horse to go past his confort zone will not solve anything...just prove to the horse it's horrible to go away from the herd
     
    12-07-2008, 01:55 PM
  #8
Trained
I think either way would work. The way Sonny is talking about will probably take a while but eventually bringing them there and back gets them curious. I think if you are consistent with it it wont be letting him win as you are bringing him back each time. You don't let him stay there, you just return him to his comfort zone for a minute or so to collect his thoughts and realize that he survived. Then the next time you try to bring him closer.
As I said though, I think the other way would work as well. Just be gentle with him and reassure him that he's going to be okay and don't get angry with him if he is scared. Just coax him and help him through it.

Good Luck!

Also, I just wanted to add that it is basically like a pressure release thing. I have heard from all over that the best reward for a horse is the release of pressure...so that's one thing to think about. It works out either way. You release the pressure when he goes in the direction you want him to go and you also release the pressure when you bring him back to the heard.
     
    12-07-2008, 02:33 PM
  #9
Banned
RWF, it shouldn't actually take too long. My horse was deathly afraid of tarps and I got him over that fear in 10 minutes. For a herd bound horse I'd say depending on how bad he is...a week max...but I don't think it would take that long if you are consistant
     
    12-07-2008, 05:07 PM
  #10
Weanling
Sonny, I wasn't saying that you should force your horse to do something, I know that doesn't work, esp with my horse, lol.
But if he trusts you as his leader, i'll use the tarp example, and you take him away from something scary as soon as he shows fear, aren't you reinforcing his fear by telling him, in his mind, that it IS something to be afraid of since you are "running away"?
I don't think you should make him go up to it (still using tarp e.g. Lol), but if he shows fear, stop. You don't have to make him walk up to it but don't let him run away, let him get a good look, and blow and snort if he feels this is necessary, lol, and when he is ready bring him a little closer, only as much as he is comfortable with, and praise him with confident voice. Then take him away and give him a break and let him take his mind off it.
Being his leader you need to show him that it is not anything to be afraid of.

Then again Sonny, you said it worked with your boy, so im not discrediting your method. I'd say its just a matter of finding which method works for the horse depending on his personality.
     

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