I need a bit of Advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-03-2009, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 579
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I need a bit of Advice

Hello everyone, well I have to update you guys a little bit and then I will reveal to you the questions that I have.

-Well to let you all know, I am in the process of putting Nana on the Bit. If you didn't already know, Nana had always ridden in a hackamore (just a basic hackamore). Acouple of weeks ago I was riding nana in the pasture area and she bolted on me; We came very close to running straight into the barn. After this incident I decided to switch Nana to a bit, because I just wanted more control.

1. Whats the best way to get rid of barn sour?
2. I am going on the 3nd week of getting nana use to the bit and she is doing wonderful. I trotted her today with the bit and she did wonderful in the ROUND PIN. When do you think would be the best time to start doin the trails again?

To help you understand more about the barn sour problem would be that near the barn is the other horses. I just need some pointers on what I can add to my routine that would help stop her from being barn sour.


I love my horse. She is the wind beneath my wings.

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post #2 of 4 Old 02-04-2009, 01:07 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
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Did you discover why she bolted on you? Do you know what training she's had in the past? How long have you had her, what have you done with her? What problems have you had? How is her back & saddle? How does she behave away from her friends when you're on the ground with her? What's she like in her own environment? How about strange environments, like trails/new experiences? What's her bodylanguage like when she's being 'barnsour'?

I ask the above because depending on your issues, using a bit of itself may not give you more control, and using pain to control & force her will probably lead to her becoming more 'barnsour'. Horses are herd animals who don't generally feel safe unless they're in the presence of a trusted, respected, considerate leader. Therefore, when we take a horse away from their herd, if we want them to be happy & confident, you must first establish yourself as that worthy leader.

Another big reason for horses being 'barnsour' is that people 'work' them. If we want the horse to willingly leave the pleasant surrounds & company of the barn, we need to present that 'work' to them in a positive way. Play with them rather than work.

Your question no.2 ... I would personally first establish the relationship & control without a bit, so that I could use it for communication, not for pain/control. But anyway...

It's a good idea to get her good at everything in a pEn or arena(eg. safe area) to begin with, as you're doing. This is mainly so you can *ask* her gently with your body & reins & persist until she stops, rather than having to use force because you can't safely allow her to go. Do lots of figure 8s, stopping, starting, turns on fore or HQ, backing up, etc. Get her softly reliable before doing the same exercises in the open, somewhere that she is comfortable, such as near the barn, in the paddock, whatever. I'd also take her out on lead, using approach & retreat tactics if she's nervous about going out, getting her reliable & confident with you before attempting to do this on her back. I'd also start out riding with other people before going out alone.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-08-2009, 08:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Montrose, CO
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Its very important to teach your horse the emergency, one rein halt. You can teach her with the bit, but be sure to have a chin strap so that when you're working on it you dont pull the bit through one side of her mouth.
What you want to do is teach her that when you pull on one side of her mouth, is disengages her hind quarters. The movement of the halt is that your body remains still and balanced, while you arms brings the rein out to the side, then directly to your hip. Use your leg on the same side to influence her hind end to step out. The second you feel that disengagement of her hind end, release and allow her to walk forwards, then repeat going the other way.
It's very common for horses to turn by dropping their shoulders, so to fix that, raise your hand straight upwards and that will activate her hind end moving out. If she gets stuck, and flings her head about without moving her feety, stay quiet in the rein, and bump her with your heel until she finds the right answer.
Practice that at the walk and the trot.
You can also work up to serpentining her, and disengaging her hind end with each change of direction.
Remember too that when you practice the one-rein halts from a faster gait, you must remain balanced and in the middle because you don't want to tip your horse off balance, which could be dangerous.
You can put out all kinds of fires with the one rein halt and it is extremely important to teach the young horses.
Another common problem is that your horse bolts, you try to turn, and he just takes that bit and runs it with it. To prevent that you must pay special attention when the initial lessons are taking place. The moment you feel her shoulder bulging out instead of her hind end moving out, raise your hand straight up. If you pull her head to the side by extending your arm to the side, it opens a window and gives her the opportunity to bulge her shoulder out. :)
Good luck!!
koomy56 is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 02-09-2009, 05:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 11
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Barn sour

We had an old gelding about 32 when he died. He was barn sour. If he was heading home he would run straight into the barn. We used to mount and dismount at the barn. I broke him of the habit by mounting and dismounting in the yard away from the barn and other horses. Try that for a while (every time you ride) to break the habit. I also loosened the girth away from my tacking area to reward the horse away from the problem area. Just don't use the same spot every time. good luck
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