Barn Sour - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 02:41 PM
Yearling
 
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I couldn’t train mine out of it either. All I managed to do is to teach her to canter a 10m circle as she gets to the gate :/ She just does it on her own now if I let her.

What I have done is work exclusively on the lower half of our rather large arena so she forgets about the gate. I think every pass close to the gate would get her worked up as she thought I would get off and she’s won. I’ve been alternating between simple dressage tests and low jumps. I don’t try to make the tests “pretty”, I just ride them to focus myself and her and it works like a miracle. She even started collecting on her own and when we are going through them there is not even a hint of gate-sourness. I think she has figured out that this is where we work and until we are finished she cannot change my mind.

Of course, this will not work for any kind of serious riding like showing or actual farm work but it works for what I need.
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post #12 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 02:52 PM
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One thing I can suggest is maybe end the right "out there". That's what I'm planning on doing and what I did for some of the hacks I went on before her month holiday. Once we reached a nice distance I got off, made her girth comfy (not loose) and let her in-hand graze our way back home. One of those I found a nice log and we practised the stand command and mounted again to get home. Last minute changed my mind, got off and graze a bit before heading back. When only riding in the arena I also sometimes end my ride, untack her on the spot and let her have a gander round or roll in the sand. She's VERY relaxed by the time we get back to the stall. I might open the gate from the saddle and get off only after. Or I might dismount at the far end of the arena to look at some flowers. She never knows and half the time neither do I lol. As for fun things I like to do trick training and what warwick schiller (popular trainer with very empathetic techniques) calls "focus" work. For the longest time I thought you had trail things and arena things. Sounds obvious but a few people on here brought up that you can, and should, do everything you do in the arena outside!
loosie and WildestDandelion like this.
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post #13 of 17 Old 08-26-2019, 10:10 PM
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Edited to leave only the parts I'm responding to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildestDandelion View Post
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).
You are training your horse right: you show him how to get release, and he's giving you the right answer. It's not a problem - he's just being a horse. So you need to rework his expectations. Do several laps so he knows returning to the barn doesn't mean the ride is over. Return to the indoor arena so he knows returning to the barn doesn't mean the ride is over. Take off the bridle but not the saddle and let him stew for 15 mins in the cross ties. Dismount and remount often - not excessively, especially if you have to mount from the ground, but often enough to shatter his mental image of what "end of the ride" looks like. Keep him mentally off-balance. Do end the ride as soon as he behaves in a manner that is pleasing to you, so he'll try more of that.


Quote:
He's also tried to run me into low hanging branches.
You and me both. They always find those. There may be low-hanging thorny shrubs hanging into the trail, and you can bet my horse will ride my legs into those, too. I once got one of those climbing thorny things in the face at the canter. Walking next to a fence (say outside a pasture), I always have to be mindful about how close my knees are getting to the fence posts. The evil little monsters!!!

You are right, though. What you describe doesn't sound barn sour, it sounds like anticipation. You simply trained him to anticipate and look forward to comfort: saddle off, face stuffed. Make is life a little less predictable, and go reward him for the things he does well. I don't think you need to "correct" him or something like that, because he doesn't sound mean. He's simply working the script of what has been working for him, and if it doesn't, he goes to trial-and-error (like crow-hopping, as you mentioned) to make it work regardless. I think the easiest would be to turn the current signals of "Work is over" into "There is a lot more work ahead, by friend, sorry!"

Last edited by jaydee; 08-28-2019 at 07:32 AM. Reason: clarification
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post #14 of 17 Old 08-27-2019, 08:37 AM
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Try some serpentines, changes of direction, take him in a new area, etc. Maybe put some cones out or trot poles, that can make things interesting. Do a pattern, etc. The street too, once you work up to that, just be careful. He may be a bit rusty!

Ride more, worry less.
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post #15 of 17 Old 08-27-2019, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoptartShop View Post
Try some serpentines, changes of direction, take him in a new area, etc. Maybe put some cones out or trot poles, that can make things interesting. Do a pattern, etc. The street too, once you work up to that, just be careful. He may be a bit rusty!
We switched up the pattern yesterday, and he was NOT happy! haha. I made him listen regardless, but he was all like "This is NOT what we do!"
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post #16 of 17 Old 08-27-2019, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmshiro View Post
Edited to leave only the parts I'm responding to.



You are training your horse right: you show him how to get release, and he's giving you the right answer. It's not a problem - he's just being a horse. So you need to rework his expectations. Do several laps so he knows returning to the barn doesn't mean the ride is over. Return to the indoor arena so he knows returning to the barn doesn't mean the ride is over. Take off the bridle but not the saddle and let him stew for 15 mins in the cross ties. Dismount and remount often - not excessively, especially if you have to mount from the ground, but often enough to shatter his mental image of what "end of the ride" looks like. Keep him mentally off-balance. Do end the ride as soon as he behaves in a manner that is pleasing to you, so he'll try more of that.




You and me both. They always find those. There may be low-hanging thorny shrubs hanging into the trail, and you can bet my horse will ride my legs into those, too. I once got one of those climbing thorny things in the face at the canter. Walking next to a fence (say outside a pasture), I always have to be mindful about how close my knees are getting to the fence posts. The evil little ****** know!

You are right, though. What you describe doesn't sound barn sour, it sounds like anticipation. You simply trained him to anticipate and look forward to comfort: saddle off, face stuffed. Make is life a little less predictable, and go reward him for the things he does well. I don't think you need to "correct" him or something like that, because he doesn't sound mean. He's simply working the script of what has been working for him, and if it doesn't, he goes to trial-and-error (like crow-hopping, as you mentioned) to make it work regardless. I think the easiest would be to turn the current signals of "Work is over" into "There is a lot more work ahead, by friend, sorry!"
Thank you, he's definitely not mean. He's really gentle and communicative. After last night, I am no longer convinced the issue isn't his teeth, even though the vet didn't mention them needing to be done.
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post #17 of 17 Old 08-27-2019, 11:15 AM
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I've found that returning to the barn and loping circles for 20 minutes will usually convince a horse that rushing to get home is not the world's best idea. I don't care if they walk fast, but no jigging, rearing, refusing to stop, etc. I rarely unsaddle and feed right away after a ride-- I'll leave the horse tied and saddled while I do other things for awhile, then unsaddle and turn him out so he doesn't think he gets put up right away when he gets home. On days when I have time, I'll also saddle the horse in the morning, leave him tied for an hour or so while I do chores and have breakfast, then ride, then tie him for another hour or two, then offer a drink and few minutes of grazing while hobbled in the front yard, then mount and we'll go ride again, etc. Sometimes I won't unsaddle and turn the horse back out until evening. And to really mix it up, sometimes I'll ride down the road a couple of miles to the neighbor's, feed and unsaddle there, get a ride back, and go get the horse in the morning. She does the same. Horses are creatures of habit-- mix things up and they won't get in such a rut, and will better be able to deal with change when it comes. Trainers, ranchers, and cowboys often saddle in the morning and the horse stands tied all day, used occasionally, and then when all is done, everyone is put away at the same time. That goes a long way toward teaching a horse patience, to rest when the opportunity is presented, and to not anticipate feed and the end of the work day as soon as you dismount.
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