Originally Posted by APHAforlife
I've dealt with plenty of barn sour horses. It depends really on their personality, how smart they are etc, but I find that the best solution to being barn sour is this:
Ride him out as far as he will go, when he starts to act up do exactly what you have been (turn him in tight circles, ask him to move out, etc) and if he just gives you too much trouble, go ahead and turn back home. Instead of taking him b-line for the barn, make him work a bit on the way back. If you have an arena or roundpen at the stable, work him as soon as you get back.
We had a gelding who was awful about trying to turn home and it got to the point where we couldn't get down the street either. I brought him back and took him into the round pen immediately for over an hour and worked him until he was dripping sweat and his head was hanging low.
This might sound cruel, but I worked him just like any other time except a bit harder and a bit longer. All natural horsemanship, made him lounge and Join Up etc, but we did it until he couldn't do it any longer. The next day we took him out on the trail and he didn't try turning back once. He figured out that going home before we were ready meant being worked and he just doesn't like the idea now. Give it a shot, obviously don't be aggressive or annoyed with him because then you will both just get frustrated. He will figure it out and I think you might see a difference :)
Thanks for the help!! I will work him in his barn arena. That's his comfort zone. I'm going to work him very very hard. Then the next time we go out, if he tries to turn around, we can go back but I will do what you did and put him in the arena or inthe barn arena. He HATES the arena and refuses to go anywhere except the gate lol