Question of barn sour horses! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-31-2012, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Question of barn sour horses!

My boss has 4 horses who i'm always around and I feed them often. She is a very busy person with her business and family and doesn't really have time to ride 4 horses the way she should. She did have a trainer work on them all the time but that can get pricy especially with 4 horses so she asks me to go over to her barn and lunge them/ride them/ and spend time with them.

Well i've been feeding them and ive been around them, working with them, ect for months now i know them and their personalities pretty well. I'm not allowed to ride them since the owner at the barn she boards at is VERY picky and does not allow anyone on her horses unless my boss, or my bosses trainer is there. So unless she is there I just do groundwork with them, wash them, feed them, groom them, etc.

My boss boards at a private barn, it's a small barn but has a large pasture. She has 2 stalls, a run in, a tack/feed room and a GIANT pasture all for herself. The downside is that the barn is smack middle of the pasture and there is only one pasture, maybe 2 acres, maybe more? But it is all connected and there is no way to separate the 4 horses unless you put 2 in the stalls. She is the only person boarding there since there is no room for more horses.

Two of her horses ( her only gelding and a mare) Eli and Gabby are pasture horses. The other two ( two mares) Cal and Star go in the stalls at night. The gelding is the alfa. Her two pasture horses, do not like Cal and Star. So that is why at night Cal and Star go together in the stalls because Cal is 28 years old, is blind in one eye and whinnys all night if she is alone.

But during the day all the horses are together in the big pasture. Her Eli is spoiled rotten and is STUBBORN! He pushes all the other horses around, eats everyone's hay but is a sweetheart. He is my favorite and I love him.

Last week my boss and I tried taking Cal and Star out for a trail ride. It's been awhile since anyone has ridden them and they were fine leaving the pasture, and walking down the driveway - Eli and Gabby were pacing up and down the pasture, bucking and whinnying. Cal and Star kept going but once they could not longer see the barn they started to act up. Cal tried bucking my boss off and Star kept walking me into trees. They would not listen to anything, especially Star. She is 12 and can get hot. I would turn her in a circle and use my legs and she would have her neck bend at my boot and would keep walking towards the driveway. Cal listened a little better than Star but Star would not listen to any of my body language and completely ignored the fact that I was on her. She would only listen when we were in the driveway.

Well today we tried taking Eli and Gabby. We put Star in the stall with a flake of hay and left Cal out. She was busy in the front grazing and paid no attention has we walked down the driveway so we thought we were good. Well we got farther than we did with Cal and Star and then Gabby started acting up. She ran my boss right back to the driveway and that is when Cal noticed and started pacing by the fence. Eli was good when I kept in away from the grass. He listened to me and stopped when I said whoa, turned when I told him to turn etc, didn't act up, but if he got to grass like on the side of the road, it's like everything I was doing was right over his head. He would put his head down to graze, I would make him push his head up and he would start acting up. Once on the road he was good. But we weren't gonna be on the road forever. Well Gabby kept getting worse and it was getting late so we called it a night.

What do we do with barn sour horses like this? It's really annoying anyone have a problem like this?
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-01-2012, 12:38 AM
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I have this problem and haven't fixed it yet but I just wanted to say I know how frustrating it is and you're not alone.

We have both of our horses at a friends house with his horses. My horse is extremely buddy sour. I won't say barn sour because he HATES the barn. If I try and ride him alone he tries to turn back towards the other horses all the time. I spin him in circles but it eventually gets to the point where no matter how much I pull his head in he keeps getting faster until he eventually runs back to the others, parks and won't move. My husbands horse acts up as soon as the other horses whinny or if he can't see them. My husband does alot better at controlling them but it still hasn't stopped. My horse gets picked on by the others so I dont understand his sourness lol.

I am hoping when I get them home i can work on it more, but for the time being the only thing that works is riding both of ours together. My horse needs a leader and though my husbands horse acts up my husband has the strength and stamina to control him. My horse just follows along at snail pace. It's like he is 2 different horses. I know I am not much help, but your sutuation is similar to mine. If you can't work on it often enough then it's not going to change. Maybe you could ride 2 and pony 2? That way they all get excersize, and they are all out together. I will be watching this post for more suggestions though
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-01-2012, 07:11 AM
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Quite honestly I would be carrying a big stick and if they tried turning around I would circle them but against the direction they wanted to go. If they tried running backwards or were just not listening to my aids I would use the whip hard behind my leg and make sure that the horse was going forward in the direction I wanted.
I would not care if this was at a canter as long as they were heading where I wanted.
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-01-2012, 09:43 AM
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If they won't leave, then work the tar out of them near the pasture, to where they are sweating and puffing, then ask them to walk away. Of course they will likely object before you get very far so repeat the work. If often takes a second or third time for the horse to make the connection.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-01-2012, 02:46 PM
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Battling with a horse over this is fruitless for much of the time. Have to outsmart them. Being willing to sit, not turn, not battle generally confuses them and makes it a matter of horse listening to you better. That of course takes time, but a big battle, with constant circling does nothing.

And manhandling one does nothing either. Just makes horse more determined next time.

Be prepared to sit if horse balks, spins or what have you. Just face direction you want to go, and sit. No talking, no petting, no trying to get horse to move. Just sit. Be a good idea to not load up on drinks beforehand.

IF horse moves in direction you want to go, let them, but NO praise. You should never praise anything for doing what it is supposed to do. Defeats the purpose. If horse moves and then balks. Cue once. If no response, keep head facing in your chosen direction and sit there.

Also, if you have let horse get head down to graze? Why haven't you attempted to do something before it got that far? Horses will clue you in to what they are thinking. You need to learn those cues and react before it happens. When horse has head down, it is too late.

Too much feed/too little expectations will give you exactly what you are getting, and rider mechanics aren't helping.
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Palomine is offline  

barn sour , buddy sour , crazy , horse , trail ride

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