Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
The concept of barn sour has always amazed me. I wonder what one does in the first place to create this attitude in a horse? I have had people tell me not to feed my horses right after I put them away from riding to prevent creating a barn sour horse, but that is usually exactly when I feed (I ride when I get home from work, feed, bed). I have never had a problem with barn sourness as a result of feeding or for any other reason - but I also ride almost every day with very high expectations of my horses behavior and response to my requests - I think you need to have these kinds of expectations to keep these type of vices from happening. I wonder (don't really know) if a lot of cases of barn sourness are a result of horses getting away with these kind of shenanigans when under the direction of less experienced riders?
I think preventing barn sourness is the best way to go in the first place, but as for training a horse to get over it - I would say a lot of ride time, and a lot of persistence. As for specific corrections, I always believe that it depends on the specific horse and situation. I know that I would not quit any session until the horse it moving forward in the direction I asked, and that any movement away from the direction I asked would result in more work for the horse (circles or something). It seems like this particular vice is partially due to a lack of respect for the rider, so I might also spend some time in the barn area working from the ground and in the saddle to make sure that when I ask for something in this environment, the horse will respond accordingly. I would then carry that expectation over to the trail. It sounds like part of this horse's problem might simply be lack of going out alone in the first place,so I would also put a lot of hours on trail without other horses once I was able to leave the barn area.