Preventing barn and herd sour horses - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 12 Old 04-14-2013, 11:07 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
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I don't have any 'herd bound' or barn sour horses. When we train, we make it a point to always take separate rides, rejoin the group and separate them again as we ride. We do this at least once on every ride. When I get a green horse back to the barn, I always ride it away from the barn again, never stop and let it rest unless it is moving freely forward, and I make it a point to stop and dismount somewhere other than the tack room area. I never put a horse up until it has stood quietly for a while at it has been untacked.

If one rides and handles horses with the objective in mind that you want to prevent barn sour and horse sour problems, I have just found I never had any of these problems.

Some horses are more 'lonesome' and more 'herd dependent' than others. When we have a horse that is very herd dependent, it spends a lot of time tied out by itself until it figures out that there is life after separation -- I think they just finally quiet down when they figure out that they can be separated from their herd and they are going to be put back together later. It is like something just 'clicks'. They will just be tied up away from other horses and they just drop their head and rest a hind foot right away. At that point, they usually quit fussing over being separated. But, even with horses that are overly 'herd conscious', they are always very obedient and never fight with a rider and never try to go back to the barn or the herd.
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post #12 of 12 Old 04-15-2013, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Iowa
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
After spending most of the winter together in a corral, mostly unridden, my little herd of 3 is pretty tight knit. I can take two of them out together, and they will be OK. If I take Mia out by herself, she'll be worried about 'her' horses. She will be much more nervous.

I don't have it in me to blame her too much. If I can get more time for riding, I can start taking her out by herself again and get her calmer...but it is going to be tough on 2-3 rides/week, tops. She's OK if I bring another horse along, and pretty good about things when all 3 go out.

Why should I really expect otherwise? A lead mare who spends all but 2-3 hours/week with a tight-knit small herd is going to worry about them when she isn't there to take care of them - particularly if she can hear them calling.

If I had unlimited time, THEN I could do something about it. But I've gone back to college at 55, am swamped with homework, am trying to get back to jogging daily (after an injury 4 years ago)...I don't have the time to 'cure' her. On the plus side, if all 3 go out, she's happy as a clam - however happy that is.

And she has never tried to bolt away from the other horse(s). She'll RACE...but she has never tried to bolt when another horse is with her. Given my time constraints, I figure I'll accept that and try to get my youngest daughter to go out with me regularly this summer.

Add - She doesn't throw a fit. She just is more nervous.
You are making excuses. My horses can be in a herd for years and not worked. When I get them out a year later they are the same well behaved horse.
If you do it correctly there is no need to "cure" they just know what is expected of them and they take it in stride.
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