Herd Sour horse problem - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By loosie
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-19-2015, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Taylorsville, NC
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Herd Sour horse problem

Hello, My name is Jessica and I have an 8 year old Appaloosa, named Cheyenne. I have had her for almost three months and I wish to have her for a pleasure trail riding horse. She was doing great with her progress of accepting the saddle and working on her cues and how I wanted her to respond on trails.
About a month ago with her, she had went missing and I found her about 3 miles down the road in a pasture with 5 other horses. She had been there about 12 days and I went to retrieve her. Back at her own enclosure she stayed a day and then went back. After talking with the owner he had no problem with her staying.
Sadly, she has gotten herd bound with the group now. I tried walking her out to take her back, and she lashed out, trying to kick at me and bucking to get away. The owner's fence goes all the way around from where I have to go to take her out of there and they continuously call to her and she gets more and more upset. When I tried to saddle her, she plum refuses and trots around me and side steps to avoid me. I'm waiting on a call from a horse training facility to help me but I was also wondering what I can do positively to retrain her?
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-20-2015, 09:52 PM
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Hi & welcome,

Firstly, for safety's sake, one very basic requirement you need is to have a secure place to keep a horse. If you didn't notice she was gone for many days, then I don't want to assume, but that sounds extremely... Lax to me.

Secondly, the way you put it, sounds like she wasn't trained when you bought her & you're not knowledgeable but trying to do it all yourself? I absolutely agree you NEED an experienced trainer/horseperson(maybe owner down the road, or your farrier or vet can suggest someone) to both teach you how to responsibly care for your horse properly and to help you train her. In the meantime it sounds like she is probably safe & happy where she is, so for safety's sake(yours mostly) leave her alone until good help is on hand.

horses naturally live in groups and don't tend to feel secure(or happy) left alone. I don't personally think it's fair to keep them in solitary confinement.

'Herd bound' or 'buddy sour' or 'barn sour' means the horse is afraid or really unhappy about going off alone. Entirely natural to a prey animal that finds security in groups, even if being ridden(or whatever) isn't inherantly unpleasant to the horse of itself. You need to *earn* your horse's respect as a worthy & reliable leader who they can trust & enjoy going out with.
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-20-2015, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Firstly, for safety's sake, one very basic requirement you need is to have a secure place to keep a horse. If you didn't notice she was gone for many days, then I don't want to assume, but that sounds extremely... Lax to me.
How did she escape where you had her and how did she get into the pasture with the other horses? Did she jump the fences? Did she break down the fences? The answers here will be a guide to how you need to construct that fence in order to keep the horse at home.
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