My new horse is barn sour. How do I change that behavior?
I bought a horse in August and he has been a bit of a challenge. He had bad ground manners(which I knew about) and I corrected that behavior. But when I took him out about three weeks ago for a ride, he had a fit when he thought he was going home. He got very "HOT" when he didn't get his way but it was a challenge to control him after that. He is normally a great horse to ride. He walks, trots, canters without hesitation and stops when asked. I need to correct that barn sour behavior or Ill never make it to the long trails. Since he had his fit in the back field Ive rode him around the arena and front field but I haven't tried to take him out of sight of the barn yet. I want to gradually go farther away but would really like some more advice on correcting this behavior.
More info on what you've done with him? What experience/training has he had before you got him? As he's still new to you, settling in to the place & getting used to you, it could be that he's not feeling safe & confident with you yet. It could be that he's never been taken out before & needs lots of 'easy' experiences. It could be - esp as it sounds like he may have been OK going out - that he's been allowed/trained to run back home after a ride or such....
Do you have a buddy you can ride with? What you essentially need to do, is make the trails fun for him. He probably has no experience or really poor ones of being out and away from home. If safety is a concern, I would even spend a lot of time with him away from home in various areas with just him and you. Take some brushes and some treats, and go find yourself an area where you can take him for a walk, just to enforce that you are his new buddy and that the 2 of you can go out together.
Over time as you build that bond and trust with him, he wont know any different to be at home or at the barn.
I'm no training expert, but here's what I'm doing with my barn sour mare, and I'm seeing progress. I have a field that in which I work her.. This field is adjacent to the pasture. Recently, when we're riding along the fence that divides the two pastures, she would toss her head and do a side dance toward the fence. I, too was getting frustrated. I then thought that any time she side danced, or tossed her head, we simply turned on a dime and cantered back to point we started in the field. We went back and fourth over a dozen times until she walked that whole fence line without a complaint. We did something else for awhile, then came back to try the fence line again and only had six do-overs. She's starting to figure it out....
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