Buddy Sour Mare Question
I have a 15 year old Arabian mare that is extremely buddy sour when taken out of the herd. I use her for lessons and when she is tied and my riders are grooming and tacking up she is pawing, twisting, neighing, etc. For the most part if I take her up into the barn more she is better, by a little, but even if she cant physically see or get to another horse, she starts to freak.
So my question is: What are some natural techniques I can use to help her be more confident in being in the barn by herself?
One way to do it (there are many) is to have a horse tied right outside the barn. Bring your mare into the barn, pause for just a second, and walk her out. Do this again and again and again. Eventually, your mare will be tired of getting hyped and calming down and than getting hyped again. She'll know she'll see her friend in a short amount of time anyway.
Gradually increase the amount of time she spends inside the barn alone. When you first start, she might not be able to stand there for 30 seconds. Make her stand for 25 and then walk her out to see her friend. Never increase the time to the point she gets worried and then you bring her to see her friend. Bring her back out right before she starts to act out.
This way will take time and effort, but it really increases confidence. :wink:
I have dealt with this in a lot of horses. The best way to fix it is to make her not want to be with the other horses. Put her to work around the horses. Then walk away and let her stand. The sec you go back to the other horses, or she starts to be silly. Put her back to work. You may have to do this everyday for a month or more for it to sink in. I have used this on lots of horses and I have fixed them with in a few weeks.
As I said on another thread the horse is not Buddy Sour, it is Buddy Sweet. As I also said on the other thread this may sound trite, but the switch in thinking has helped me deal with issues like this in the past.
The idea from Freemare is a very good one. In effect it is making the area near the buddy less sweet. You also don't want to make it a sour place, just closer to neutral. The trick is to know when to stop making them work hard !
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