How to prevent an arena sour horse if I'm only comfortable in the arena - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 82 Old 03-23-2016, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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How to prevent an arena sour horse if I'm only comfortable in the arena

Our horse Gatsby lives at a stunning barn with a huge indoor arena and a nice outdoor area. We have only ridden him in the indoor so far, but of course when it gets warmer we will ride him in the outdoor one.

I never really thought about an arena sour horse until reading posts here. I am, however, really nervous about riding him outside of the arena. There aren't really trails near that barn. Would it be an okay alternative just to take him for a walk (as in leading him) down the road instead? Would that help prevent him from being arena sour? Is there anything else that can be done?
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post #2 of 82 Old 03-23-2016, 06:42 PM
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I am in a similar position, and I'm seriously considering hiring the trainer to take her on a trail ride once a week or so. Leading in hand or better yet ground driving is another alternative, and improves your fitness as well.
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post #3 of 82 Old 03-23-2016, 06:46 PM
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think hand walking horses is a great tool to use! My husband and I often take our boys out for an evening stroll in hand, because he isn't really into riding, but likes spending time with them. Our appy does great being led away from the property, but is still a bit barn sour when ridden out alone, so I don't think it prevents it, but it does help a heap.
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post #4 of 82 Old 03-23-2016, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I should clarify...by "arena sour" I meant he would be tired of the repetitiveness of the arena and start acting up. Maybe I am misusing that term. I am not really worried about him racing back to the barn as I am not thinking I'll be riding away from the barn in the first place.

I am a runner...maybe I could get him to trot alongside me. He does have a very nice trot and he seems to be able to do it for a very long time!
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post #5 of 82 Old 03-23-2016, 07:02 PM
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Could you maybe lease him out a day or two a week to someone that wants to trail ride? Maybe could help offset costs for you and get him out of the ring?
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post #6 of 82 Old 03-23-2016, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Could you maybe lease him out a day or two a week to someone that wants to trail ride? Maybe could help offset costs for you and get him out of the ring?
Hmm, not really. There aren't trails near the barn and I am not sure I would want someone else trailering him somewhere.
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post #7 of 82 Old 03-23-2016, 07:31 PM
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Ride him in the outdoor arena and see how he acts, if he's calm start riding him around what property is there. Also set up obstacle courses for him in the arena to mix it up with. Use poles, barrels, flags etc. to work in, around and over. Those are in just about every barn I've ever been in. You can look around and see what's handy and how you can use it.

Many horses certainly get bored doing the same thing day in and day out. Heck I don't know how anyone can stand riding in arenas and that includes horses, I'm bored out of my skull in 5 minutes.
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post #8 of 82 Old 03-23-2016, 07:53 PM
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Hmm, not really. There aren't trails near the barn and I am not sure I would want someone else trailering him somewhere.
Oh yeah no I wouldn't want someone trailering either :( I like Darrin's idea. Maybe you can mosey around the barn some after rides even?
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post #9 of 82 Old 03-23-2016, 07:58 PM
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agree on just staring by riding him in the outdoor arena, and then around the property
Do you have a trailer, so you can haul him to some trail rides at times?
I Guess you can walk him at first, but to me, that is not really the same as having a horse learn to have confidence riding out,and to me, a horse that can only be arena ridden, is not really broke
Many horses will lead, where they will not ride.
For me, riding a horse out, not only allows that horse to relax, enjoying the scenery, riding with a purpose, versus just going round and round, but also prevents the association of those arena walls controlling the horse, as he truly learns to guide and trust your leadership, riding out. It is then you, and not those arena walls, that gives him that sense of security

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post #10 of 82 Old 03-23-2016, 08:02 PM
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I am in a similar position, and I'm seriously considering hiring the trainer to take her on a trail ride once a week or so. Leading in hand or better yet ground driving is another alternative, and improves your fitness as well.

Why not ride the horse out yourself? It will improve your bond, and you both will enjoy it!
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