Buddy Sourness in other boarders horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-07-2020, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2018
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Buddy Sourness in other boarders horse

So this is an odd situation, and I couldn't think of a better title.. More of a rant than anything.

I'm at a barn where there's me, one older married couple and the barn owner. Because the other boarders sold their second horse, their remaining horse is pastured with my gelding. This is all normal, and this situation seems to be indefinite.

Problems have begun to arise when their mare became hugely buddy sour towards my horse. My horse hasnt been showing any signs of separation anxiety when I take him out, but apparently the other boarders mare goes absolutely nuts when she's away from my gelding. She bucks, screams the entire time and tries to bolt back to the pasture.

This is pretty thoroughly in the territory of not my problem, or so I thought. But now the couple gets very, very upset at me when I bring my horse out for work while they're out with their mare. They say that if she can see my horse, she goes ballistic.

Normally I'd be okay with working in a different area or avoiding the times they usually come to the barn while they work on their mares buddy sourness, but it doesn't seem like she's getting any better. The wife is even too scared to turn her out because of how she bolts the second she's turned loose.

The easy solution would be to avoid the times they come to the barn, but sometimes that just isn't possible. They're at the barn twice a day for hours at a time, and usually I have just a small window of time to be there in between their visits before the sun sets. If I do show up to play with my horse while they're around, I'm usually stuck lunging in his muddy pasture, lest they get upset.

Bringing this to the barn owner isn't really an option either, since this is her private farm and the couple have major seniority over me.

Hopefully this is something that'll blow over if I stay compliant, since this is the only farm within 30 minutes of me willing to take a single gelding. I can deal with unsolicited advice from the resident armchair horse trainer, but I'd like to work with my horse too...
Ratlady is offline  
post #2 of 15 Old 01-07-2020, 06:22 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE Oklahoma
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Well. I'd tell them too bad and go on with my day. That mare and their issues with her are not your problem.

Not your problem one bit.

"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 15 Old 01-07-2020, 07:08 PM
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It's not your problem - I've been on both sides of the scenario, and it sucks, but they need to work with their horse if their horse has a problem - you DON'T have to cater to them.

Toofine - 1998 Half Arabian
Minnie - 2013 Morgan
ClearDonkey is offline  
post #4 of 15 Old 01-07-2020, 08:42 PM
Join Date: Jul 2019
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Maybe suggest that you do ride at the same time for a few days a in row?

You could work on the issue together, teaching her horse that when she is near yours it means work (lots of it), and when she walks away nicely she can rest / walk on / catch her breath.

That way, any future times that you want to ride don’t need to take into account whether they are there or not.
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Tombo2440 is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 01-07-2020, 10:21 PM
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Your horse is behaved, has and shows manners and is working well for you...
The problem is theirs and their horse.
You should not be made to feel guilty for wanting to ride, work with your horse because the other boarders have a problem.
The fact you are not enjoying your horse is a problem for me...
You pay board same as them.
You have the same perks on the farm as they do...

So, I guess those that own the mare will not handle, ride or do anything with her out of sight of your horse...that is their choice and it is their problem.
What would happen if you decided to move?
They would be forced to deal with their horses nervous breakdown or get rid of her...again, not your problem.
Don't let their problem become yours.

Handle your horse, ride and do as you need to when you need to.
Don't subject your horse to working in less than ideal footing conditions trying to appease these people.
If you want to ride, do it.
I also would not encourage a ride together if the mare is so mareish...and herd bound.
You could, probably will be held back in what you want, need to do with your horse in your limited amount of time for riding enjoyment...that is not fair.
I don't want to sound uncaring, but their problem is theirs, not yours.
Don't own it and don't make it yours either.
JCnGrace and AtokaGhosthorse like this.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-07-2020, 10:32 PM
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I wouldn't worry about it either. Just ride your horse or whatever it is that you want to do with him. If they had it there way, you wouldn't show up at all to enjoy your horse, you would just be paying board to keep their horse company. Which leads me to this idea. Suggest to them that they get a second horse to keep their mare company and let them pay for her constant companionship.

One thing that I wouldn't do is get sucked up into the drama and fight with them about it. It doesn't sound like that is what you want to do anyway. I would just put it back on them whenever they got mad and said something to me like "I feel for you, maybe a good trainer can help you with your mares problem".

There will be only one of you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.
Coffee is my spirit animal
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-07-2020, 10:49 PM
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If you've got a nice tall, sturdy round pen of sorts that you could stick the gelding in so he can't jump the fence/injure himself by getting so worked up while riding(if you're not riding in the pen that is) it might help some to try sticking him in there for a while. I had two of my horses in my backyard for a few years when I was lucky enough to live on enough property to keep horses on, but after I had to move and my mare and gelding moved to where I currently board, the gelding would get extraordinarily worked up when he was younger whenever I left on the mare(who never really displayed that level of buddy-sourness, though she did have some issues after being separated after being together for so long). He never tried anything drastic(we have electric fencing, so it's not something the horses are super pushy with), but it was a bit of a pain and caused trouble whenever I went out or took them somewhere overnight.

The best cure I found was to stick them both in separate pens, where they could see each other(the gelding would calm down once he realized he couldn't see/smell/hear the mare anymore, then get worked up again when he saw her coming back after a ride), and just leave them there for a few weeks. Eventually, the gelding calmed down and quit pacing/neighing. I'm lucky enough to have options for pasture and I was able to sometimes turn him out in a pasture out back for a while where he couldn't see the mare, but once they got used to being separated by being in different pens and by me riding more often to get him used to her leaving, they both calmed down. He still always come running in greeting whenever I ride up the driveway on my mare, but it's no where near the panic and excitement he used to show. I also did a bit of groundwork on tying(patience, mostly) for both of them at that time, to teach them to stand tied for a while, ground tie, etc. It may help some if it's possible to tie the gelding up for a little while in a safe area where he can't hurt himself and have you work nearby, if he doesn't get too upset that it would be a danger to tie him.

"The art of riding is hard to find and easily lost."

Last edited by The Equinest; 01-07-2020 at 10:50 PM. Reason: misspelled! :|
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-08-2020, 07:23 AM
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So, I'm going to step into their shoes for a moment. I have a mare that is easily spooked when I have her out (which isn't often by the way). This is part of the problem with her and I recognize this. So, there is also a boy who lives on the property and it seems that every time I do bring this horse out, he comes out of the house and wants to start playing around. He does this actually whenever anyone is there so not unusual. He entertains himself by pretending that he is armed forces and hides behind things and jumps out. Yay!!

Well, the only time that I say anything to him is if the horse is being looked at by vet or having her feet done. Primarily so other people don't get hurt. Other than that, I see it as our problem and not his. I feel like the more she is exposed to things like this the more she will get used to it. Unfortunately, I have time constraints and can't work with her everyday, also not this kids problem. I can handle this horse so it's not THAT big of a deal. I'm not going to make him feel uncomfortable about playing around in his yard because the horse wants to act like an idiot.

There are times when you can allow for more consideration and there are times when you just have to live your life and let people handle their own problems.

There will be only one of you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.
Coffee is my spirit animal
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-08-2020, 10:01 AM
Green Broke
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I would say this is something those people should address with the BO (who owns the property) and not you directly. You pay board just like they do and have the same "rights" for barn time as they do. It is unfortunate but it really is their problem. I would be sympathetic and tell them that you understand their mare is having a hard time adjusting to her friend being gone but that you have very limited time to get out to the barn and work with your horse so you are really unable to make special arrangements to avoid being out there when they are. Suggest they talk to the BO about rotating the mare to a pasture away from your horse to help her get over her buddy sourness or offer to go with them to the BO and try to work out something that works for both of you.

You are paying to have your horse there - just like they are. The issue is one the BO should fix as I assume it was the BO's decision to put the mare in the pasture with your gelding.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-08-2020, 04:43 PM
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Reminds me of my situation at my old barn - my barnmate rarely ever worked his 2 horses, or took them out, so they'd get attached to MY horse...my horse didn't care about being away from them, but while I was working her, they'd go NUTS! Or if I ever took her out on a trail away from the property, they went crazy. It was frustrating, but I had to work my horse (we had opposite schedules too), so it was what it was, ya know?

But, I realized it's not my problem. I wouldn't worry about it. As long as your horse is behaving & fine with being away from them (which it sounds like they are!), don't stress it. If they get mad, well, maybe they should practice taking their horse away or working them? Not your problem.

Explain to them that your time is limited. You get there when you can. We don't live in a perfect world, & that's something they need to realize. Can't always cater to people. Maybe they can move her to a different pasture or something...

Ride more, worry less.
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