I Suppose She's Barn Sour.. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-31-2010, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I Suppose She's Barn Sour..

Well, I'll cut right to the point and say it: Tango's Ok going around home, but as soon as you step off the property-any side, any boundary, she gets nervous and she starts calling for home and trying to look back. She gets jiggy, and her head's straight up in the air, and circles and bending only seem to give her an excuse to speed up on the turn around facing home, and it seems like nothing I do gets her attention back on me. I do stay as calm as possible, but it doesn't look like it's making a difference. And I'll say it now-I don't have anyone to ride with. If I did I would take them with us in a heartbeat-at least for the first few times. But I don't, unfortunately. I sometimes walk her off the property-down the road, and in the neighbouring fields, but I don't want to have to lead her every new place we go-the point of having a horse is to ride it. What should I do?
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-31-2010, 05:50 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
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One thing you can do is first ride her bit away, if she starts to be fussy go back and trot her quickly in various circles. Really make her work. Then walk her away again and see if she wants to rest. Just repeat this process. What you can also do is take her for a walk and when you get home work her hard. This will make her think that going back home just means more work and she will decide that she doesn't actually want to go home.

Hope this works.

PS check out www.equisearch.com and type 'herd bound' or 'barn sour' into the search engine. It will bring up some more articles on this and how to deal with this.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-31-2010, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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That's the thing-I have done that; let her rest away, work her at home. She doesn't care-all that seems to matter to her is that she's within viewing distance of the barn. I'll check out that website.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-01-2010, 07:02 PM
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I suggest you learn some exercises you can do (dressage exercises) to help capture and keep her attention - shoulder fore/SI/LG/etc... That way just before you leave the property you start asking her to do all this work, it puts her attention on you and soon she doesn't notice that you've left the property. Then you can turn her around and return. Soon you'll be able to venture further and further away from home and she'll behave...but start with just "crossing the property line" to veturing down the road to venturing over the hill.
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-01-2010, 08:33 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Personally if she isn't doing anything that is dangerous or hard for you to handle, I would just go. Once they get a ways away from the farm they do tend to calm down. The thing is they will act up as long as they can still hear their buddies. My 3yr old and I go out all the time by ourselves. For a little bit he can be anciouse but he does tend to settle down after a while. The best thing (if it's possible) is to just ride it out.

Once she realizes that she is going no matter what she says about it she will stop. If you go back home before she settles down then you are actually rewarding the behavior (even if you are working her). She is comfortable at home so work or not she will be happy there.

Storm and I usually average our rides away from home around 3-5 hrs. We do everything out that we would do in an arena. W/T/C, side pass, leg yeild, shoulder in/out, turn on the fore hand, turn on the haunches. We also work all three gaits in equil parts, meaning if I'm going to walk for a mile, then I will trot a mile and canter a mile. I want him to know that no matter what he still needs to listen. Now when I ask for the canter (lope) he actually does a nice calm, slow, collected lope/canter.

Hope that helps :)
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