How do I stop my horse from being barn sour?
   

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How do I stop my horse from being barn sour?

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  • How to stop a horse from being barn sour
  • How do i get my mare to stop being barn sour

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    08-10-2013, 05:40 AM
  #1
Foal
How do I stop my horse from being barn sour?

I have a horse that I mildly barn sour. He is a sweet gelding and will do any thing you ask him to. The problem is that once you let go of the reins on the ground (like you fall off or need both hands and need him to follow) he runs for home. This happens all the time when I have friends ride him. Today we chased him for a half an hour because me friend fell off and he is spooky of people and everything so you can't just go up and catch him unless he gets stuck. Any suggestions on how to fix would be greatly helpful and make his rides for enjoyable and safe.
     
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    08-10-2013, 08:54 AM
  #2
Weanling
Okay I am going out on a limb here, and I don't want to hurt your feelings. In the first part you say he will do anything you ask him to, in the end he is spooky and you can't catch him. What on earth are doing letting go of the reins and expecting him to follow you? You have a horse who is disrespectful and fearful.

I suggest you go back to ground work and teach him respect, get him desensitized so he will be less spooky. If you do not how to fix him get help from a trainer who does. I would not be letting friends ride him. You need to educate yourself so you can be safe around him. Good luck.
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    08-10-2013, 09:25 AM
  #3
Trained
Oh dear. I agree that you need an adult to help you, and you need to be a leader, which means actually HOLDING onto the reins or lead rope until you have totally established respect and trust! Then, and ONLY then, PERHAPS you can allow his to follow you. SOme horses never get there. And yes-keep your friends off him. My guess is he is getting confused and the barn is a "safe" place. You are not. You need to become the "safe" place for him, and that will take work, both on the ground and actually by staying ON him.
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    08-10-2013, 01:40 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by gssw5    
Okay I am going out on a limb here, and I don't want to hurt your feelings. In the first part you say he will do anything you ask him to, in the end he is spooky and you can't catch him. What on earth are doing letting go of the reins and expecting him to follow you? You have a horse who is disrespectful and fearful.

I suggest you go back to ground work and teach him respect, get him desensitized so he will be less spooky. If you do not how to fix him get help from a trainer who does. I would not be letting friends ride him. You need to educate yourself so you can be safe around him. Good luck.
What I mean by he will do anything you ask of him is that say if you wanted to go into the river, or going into the trailer, he does it willingly. The reason he is spooky and fearful is because he was abused as a foal. He has scars all over his body from abuse. We have had him for about ten years and have only treated him with kindness but he is still the same. How do I teach him no to be like this?
     
    08-10-2013, 02:25 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allymisty    
What I mean by he will do anything you ask of him is that say if you wanted to go into the river, or going into the trailer, he does it willingly. The reason he is spooky and fearful is because he was abused as a foal. He has scars all over his body from abuse. We have had him for about ten years and have only treated him with kindness but he is still the same. How do I teach him no to be like this?

Sorry. He's not spooky and fearful because he was abused as a foal. I don't know how old he is now but you've had him for -10 years! That horse is all you, every single day, every single interaction, learning what you guys have taught him.
And this line right here tells the whole story: "The reason he is spooky and fearful is because he was abused as a foal."
It is absolutely horrible that he was abused. Breaks all of our hearts to pieces, I can sincerely assure you of that but, what he needs is clear strong confident leadership. The way to get any horse who is spooky and fearful whether due to abuse or just basic nature is to provide him with a sense of safety and consistency. It's like building an invisible fence around him with rules and guidelines and with consequenses for stepping outside of the fence line. That in turn reasures him of safety and protection. If someone bigger, stronger and fair, is in charge then he can relax and he really wants to relax...big time.

From your descriptions it sounds like he's pretty much doing what he wants and it's at times been similar to what you want. And when it isn't well, you end up on the ground. And that's like playing with a loaded gun.

I'm genuinely not trying to beat up on you here but you're just not seeing this from the horse's perspective. He is not spooky and reactive from something that happened 10 years or more ago. He is spooky and reactive because he doesn't have a leader he can trust to put order into his world and keep him safe.
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    08-10-2013, 02:31 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenBackJack    
Sorry. He's not spooky and fearful because he was abused as a foal. I don't know how old he is now but you've had him for -10 years! That horse is all you, every single day, every single interaction, learning what you guys have taught him.
And this line right here tells the whole story: "The reason he is spooky and fearful is because he was abused as a foal."
It is absolutely horrible that he was abused. Breaks all of our hearts to pieces, I can sincerely assure you of that but, what he needs is clear strong confident leadership. The way to get any horse who is spooky and fearful whether due to abuse or just basic nature is to provide him with a sense of safety and consistency. It's like building an invisible fence around him with rules and guidelines and with consequenses for stepping outside of the fence line. That in turn reasures him of safety and protection. If someone bigger, stronger and fair, is in charge then he can relax and he really wants to relax...big time.

From your descriptions it sounds like he's pretty much doing what he wants and it's at times been similar to what you want. And when it isn't well, you end up on the ground. And that's like playing with a loaded gun.

I'm genuinely not trying to beat up on you here but you're just not seeing this from the horse's perspective. He is not spooky and reactive from something that happened 10 years or more ago. He is spooky and reactive because he doesn't have a leader he can trust to put order into his world and keep him safe.
Then how do I be that leader? Also I want to clear up that he doesn't try to get us off his back, just when the misfortune comes he sees that chance as to run away.
     
    08-10-2013, 02:58 PM
  #7
Weanling
For starters keep your friends off of him. To start off do basic groundwork with him, moving his hindquarters and moving his forequarters. You should NEVER let go of the reins, most horses will not follow you unless you have their ultimate respect, which in this case you don't. But like I said do groundwork with him, move him every ways, backwards, sideways ,laterally. Get him so he moves his butt away from you just by making a slight movement towards him. Get him to move his front end by just light touching him and then release etc... Get him to back up so all you have to do is point or step towards him. That is ultimately how you get his respect.
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    08-10-2013, 03:02 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Groundwork. Clinton Anderson has excellent videos are are effective and easy to follow.

Why are the riders letting go of the reins? I have to wonder if they're doing that to hold on got he saddle? That is incredibly dangerous - without the reins, the decisions are being left up to the horse and I guarantee you that you're not the one he's worried about keeping safe.
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    08-10-2013, 03:50 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
Groundwork. Clinton Anderson has excellent videos are are effective and easy to follow.

Why are the riders letting go of the reins? I have to wonder if they're doing that to hold on got he saddle? That is incredibly dangerous - without the reins, the decisions are being left up to the horse and I guarantee you that you're not the one he's worried about keeping safe.
Posted via Mobile Device
Ok for example the other day I had friend riding bareback and he tripped going up hill. She fell off and (since he is a big horse) the reins cannot reach that far to the ground. When she let go because she didn't want her arm yanked off, he tried to run home. We are not letting go of the reins on purpose!
     
    08-10-2013, 03:51 PM
  #10
Foal
"...he doesn't try to get us off his back,..."
LOL Yeah, I thought you might take that part literally. I was really just trying to make the point in general.

The stock answer is to say ground work and lots of it. And that's a good answer.
I would be looking for more information on just what the situation is with him on a daily routine. Is he a lone horse, are you his main handler, do you work with him, how and how often, how often is he ridden and under what circumstances, how is he fed, etc? How do you handle him when he does something you don't want him to do?
Clearly he has holes in his training but what I'm curious about are the holes in your interaction with him. From your post I gt the impression that he's a personal horse for trail rides and hacking around and that you aren't showing him or herding cattle. Of course horses are horses, (yeah, I almost went there didn't I? LOL) and there are some pretty simple rules for structure but not all horse human relationships are the same. So, you have to take into consideration all the factors involved. We often get so focused on training the horse that we forget how important training the human is.

1. Understand what your limitations are. Don't set yourself up to fail because you don't have X amount of time for X type of training approach or because X style really doesn't match your personality.

2. Give yourself and the horse simple goals that match both you and him and that you can both achieve consistently.

3. Be consistent. Be fair. Be trustworthy to always be consistent and fair. That means that if you tell him that if he does X = you do Y it has to always go that way. That's the first thing that shows him there is order to the chaos of life whenever he is with you.

4. Find out his "best thing" and be the sole provider and controller of that thing. Teach him that his best thing in the world is where ever you are. That will make him come TO you instead of you chasing his butt around the pasture.

5. Work with him on the ground. Whatever work you decide to do doesn't actually matter. What matters is HOW you do it. If you want to lunge him, teach him the Spanish Walk or teach him to fly a kite doesn't make a lick of difference. What does count is
Step #3, fairness + consistentency= trustworthy.

6. Do not hesitate or be afraid to reprimand him for stepping outside the lines. Be fair, swift and reliable and, make it count every time.

Try being quiet, patient and "listening" to what your horse is telling you. Watch for the small little communications that a horse gives off with everything they do. For instance watch closely what happens when you take him out and he wants to run back to the barn: watch him closely as you go farther away. Watch for the exact moment when he starts to get nervous, mark that spot. Take him back to the barn if he isn't back there already, haha and then repeat the exercise. This time make sure you are being very confident in your leadership, strong mental intention of where you are going with confident body language and take him a little beyond the spot you marked. Make him stand there with you for a bit and "show" him that you are watching the area for threats, that you're gaurding him and he's safe with you. Repeat.
If he's actually just food motivated for the barn then try setting up either "hey, there's no food for you there anyway" or "you get food here or where/when I say if you do my thing." The core of it is that he gets what he wants when he does what you want.

There are a lot of ways to get to the same place with a horse. Whether you natural horsemanship him or cowboy him the basic core of it is the same. You have to show the horse that you are in charge and in the horse world that translates to "that's the one guy whose keeping me off the lunch menue and I definitely want to be on his good side."
     

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barn sour, spooky horse

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