Barn Sour - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Barn Sour

Not even sure if this qualifies as Barn Sour, because he's never in the barn, we do feed near the barn but not in. He's currently alone until we find a good companion, so I am not removing him from friends either. We are only riding on our property. His pasture is 1.5 acres, so I am not removing him from it when I ride. But here's what happens.

I will ride him out, and he does fine, but once we turn back around (doing laps around the property, to build up muscles) he gets antsy, wants to trot towards the barn (where he knows he will be untacked etc). He does it if he's bareback too, or even if I am just leading the kids on him in a halter. It takes him longer when he's not saddled, but he does get fed up after about ten minutes of being led. Yesterday at one point he crow hopped and then gave a little buck. He's also tried to run me into low hanging branches. I make sure he doesn't get away with this and keep riding him until we get a smooth finish.

My question is, is there anything I should be doing other than consistent riding? We've only had him since June and I've ridden a handful of times, but I want to get serious about it now.

I've read about barn sour horses, and I dont think he;s having anxiety for the above reasons... I am not taking him away from anything. Tack shouldn't be an issue either.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 11:39 AM
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That's a common problem, and that's why I haul mine off to ride. Hard to run back to the 'barn' when there's no barn to go to and all they have to look forward to is standing tied at a high line for a few hours before we ride again.


There's a lot of ways to work on the problem at home, so I'll let others opine about it. It's a massive PITA to fix sometimes, and I got tired of fighting mine. Easier to just leave and ride somewhere away from home.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtokaGhosthorse View Post
That's a common problem, and that's why I haul mine off to ride. Hard to run back to the 'barn' when there's no barn to go to and all they have to look forward to is standing tied at a high line for a few hours before we ride again.


There's a lot of ways to work on the problem at home, so I'll let others opine about it. It's a massive PITA to fix sometimes, and I got tired of fighting mine. Easier to just leave and ride somewhere away from home.
Once we get a trailer I plan on doing just that :) Technically he is my husbands horse, but I don't feel like my husband can quite manage him when he acts this way, so I am hoping to get it under control STAT!
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 11:48 AM
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Yes, he's "barn sour". He wants to go back to where he knows you'll get off eventually, whether that be the barn, the gate, or wherever.

You could try to spice up his routine a little instead of just laps. If he's focused on something and has a job to do he may be less likely to act up. some horses just get bored. But first, MAKE SURE his saddle fits. An ouchie saddle is an even bigger reason for him to want you to get off. Does he crow-hop when you ride him bareback?

If pain is ruled out and he's just being a brat, I'd just ride it out if he's not being dangerous or anything. Don't let him come back to the barn until he behaves. But also try riding other places. If you have trails or anywhere to ride he might like that better than just laps.

If he is being kept alone, he could be getting a little anxious too, but you usually see more of that if you try to ride away from home, not just around it.
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildestDandelion View Post
Once we get a trailer I plan on doing just that :) Technically he is my husbands horse, but I don't feel like my husband can quite manage him when he acts this way, so I am hoping to get it under control STAT!

I know some of the ways are: If they start to hurry on the way home, turn them around and make them hurry AWAY from home, turn them back, give them a chance to walk home at a normal pace, and then if they hurry, rinse repeat.



I've seen youtube trainers tell you to not unsaddle them right off when they get back - because that's what they want - to go home, get unsaddled and b.s. around with their buddies (Clinton Anderson's take). You can work them at the barn after letting them go to their chosen place of unsaddling... work their feet in that area while in the saddle so they don't associate it with comfort.



I've never found any of this to work for mine, not the adults set in their ways when we got them. Rather than put myself through the stress and possible injury, yeah. That's why I just got a trailer and learned to haul.



Once you get your trailer, you guys are more than welcome to holler at us and we'll find a place somewhere kinda in the middle and we'll meet and ride!

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtokaGhosthorse View Post
I know some of the ways are: If they start to hurry on the way home, turn them around and make them hurry AWAY from home, turn them back, give them a chance to walk home at a normal pace, and then if they hurry, rinse repeat.



I've seen youtube trainers tell you to not unsaddle them right off when they get back - because that's what they want - to go home, get unsaddled and b.s. around with their buddies (Clinton Anderson's take). You can work them at the barn after letting them go to their chosen place of unsaddling... work their feet in that area while in the saddle so they don't associate it with comfort.



I've never found any of this to work for mine, not the adults set in their ways when we got them. Rather than put myself through the stress and possible injury, yeah. That's why I just got a trailer and learned to haul.



Once you get your trailer, you guys are more than welcome to holler at us and we'll find a place somewhere kinda in the middle and we'll meet and ride!
the first is what I've been doing. I will add the second option and hope for the best. As soon as get back to the barn he will lower his head for me to take the bridle off.... cute but pushy lol.

That would be a ton of fun, hopefully we can get one soon.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChieTheRider View Post
Yes, he's "barn sour". He wants to go back to where he knows you'll get off eventually, whether that be the barn, the gate, or wherever.

You could try to spice up his routine a little instead of just laps. If he's focused on something and has a job to do he may be less likely to act up. some horses just get bored. But first, MAKE SURE his saddle fits. An ouchie saddle is an even bigger reason for him to want you to get off. Does he crow-hop when you ride him bareback?

If pain is ruled out and he's just being a brat, I'd just ride it out if he's not being dangerous or anything. Don't let him come back to the barn until he behaves. But also try riding other places. If you have trails or anywhere to ride he might like that better than just laps.

If he is being kept alone, he could be getting a little anxious too, but you usually see more of that if you try to ride away from home, not just around it.
He has never crow hopped before yesterday, normally he just gets pushy and will start walking too fast/turning back etc. I may have had him cinched too tightly yesterday, and that may have been the reason for the extra attitude.
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 12:11 PM
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Ground work and respect. And check his tack. Atoka covered two ways to deal with it. Timing is important. Fixing it will depend on your horses personality and how much respect they have for you. If they are acting out after ten minutes of you leading them with or without a rider or tack then they are telling you they don't really respect your decisions on what you have decided to occupy their time with. It sounds like pointers from someone knowledgeable on hand could be useful and miles of wet saddle blankets would do him some good. Yes, consistency is also key.
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 01:28 PM
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Check to see how his tack fits. Always rule out pain, the bucking/crowhopping could very well be pain.

Otherwise, yes, sounds like he's a bit barn sour. Totally normal. Keep your rides interesting though, if all you do is some laps then head back, he's going to get bored.

Consider changing things up. Consistency is key, keep at it daily.

I ride my mare by myself all the time, I have nobody to ride with, so she's learned it's OK to be by herself. When we get further away from the barn for the first time, she was like 'oh no, umm can we go back?' but the more I did it (every day) the better she got. Now, I can take her out on the trails near the property with no issues. It will take time, but it's a problem that can be solved.
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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thank you guys!

Beyond grooming daily, we haven't done much work with him at all, mostly just letting the kids be led around on him, since we got him. I am going to focus on addressing this issue now.

Anyone tips on making these rides more interesting?

ETA: loads of people in our area also ride on the street, so I plan on doing this as well. He was a parade horse, and supposedly ridden up and down the highway, so I am hoping he is as calm and collected as he was made out to be in those types of situations.
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