Ok so I want to start off with a bit of background on me and my horse. I have always had my horses at home for till last year and I didn't have anyone to ride with so I have never had to deal with a barn/buddy sour horse as that is all my horses knew. I'm not scared to do anything with a horse. I love the thrill of running barrels (correctly not just blasting through) as well as the thrill of an awesome sliding stop.
Anyway I bought a 3 year old filly in November and she is coming along great. She was in training from beginning of November till end of February so 3 months. She is doing great. I have her boarded at an indoor arena as I live in Manitoba and the weather is not that great in winter. Anyway she does everything. Sliding stops (have sliders on her and she was in training for reining), spins, starting to do flying lead changes, and I have gone through the barrel pattern slowly with her a bit. She gives her hip, her shoulders, I can counter lope her (lope her in a left circle in the right lead) I can ask for her head to the right while turning left at the jog. So she really knows her technical stuff.
Anyway on to the question. I took her out alone along the gravel road yesterday and we got about a quarter of a mile away before the problems started. She started backing up and trying to turn around and in general just being grumpy. With alot of encouragement we got another quarter of a mile down the road. Then she took it up a notch. Started rearing (not high but I refuse to accept any of that kind of behaviour). It got to the point that while I could ask her to give her hip and her shoulder and what not she just wouldn't go past that certain point. I started backing her up and that seemed to work but as soon I turned her away from the barn she would rear and turn back. I am not a quitter and I didn't want her to think she was getting away with being bad so I decided to get off and lead/back her up a little ways. I got back on and with more struggling got her to where I wanted to go. I know my horse and in no way was she in any pain. She just decided to stop listening. Anyway just looking for different opinions on what I should do. Keep in mind that she is only a 3 year old so she is still learning what the world is all about.
Thanks for reading. :-)
Patience. Keep doing what you're doing. Push her as far as you can, ride the same route over and over. It just takes time and miles.
^ I agree. Everyone deals with a buddy sour issue at one point. Just keep at it, you handled it very well. It takes a while, but eventually your horse will get over it. Good luck!
I also, think you did a great job handling that type of situation! I probably would have done the same thing. As stated above, keep pushing further and further everytime, and it's going to take a while and lots of patients but eventually she will have no problem. Good luck dear!!
Thanks. I guess I knew that I was doing the right thing but I always just wish there was a quick fix :) I just hate to have to push her that hard. But I guess the more I do it the better it will get, and maybe over the weekend a friend can come riding with me just so we have company.
What's her turnout situation? I have a young horse in training as well, and I have to be very careful about the possibility of her getting herd bound. She's in a pasture with three other mares she has bonded to. I haven't kept her on pasture board like the others because I feared it would cause a negative affect on her. So she gets separated from them fairly often, whether it be to get turned into her stall or to get trained or to spend some quality time with her. Just so she knows she can exist safely without the presence of her friends. I make a point of removing her from the herd dynamic once a day, because I fear if I didn't she would get into the habit of running away from me when I go out into the pasture to get her. I know that young horses often need a companion when out to hack, as it tends to settle them. I recently took Fri down a long country road for the first time, and I can't imagine I could have done it without an experienced trail horse in sight.
I have no experience with these, but in terms of shortcuts, I've seen (and heard) quite a few trail riders using bells around their horses neck to settle them as well.
She is in a tie stall during the night. Early in the morning she gets brought out to her personal paddock. All the horses there get the same turn out situation and the horses next to her inside are not anywhere near her outside.
Exactly what the others said. Just keep riding through it. Keep calm and try to keep their mind on you. Personally I also work on walking calmly home on a loose rein in addition to pushing them further with each ride. To my mind it doesn't matter how far you get away from home if your horse is acting like a nut all the way back they're still barn sour.
I deal with this every freaking spring and it drives me batty. My horses aren't really worked during the winter as they're pretty well snowed/iced in, so when the spring comes around they are all very well bonded.
It does seem to get less intense (in some ways) as they get older. Of course that does depend on the horse.
Another thing I do is when I get done riding my horse weather its in the ring or on the trails I tie them up for at least 20min after words. Then they don't get it in their head that as soon as I'm done working I get to go back out.
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