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 Post subject: Barn Sour Horses
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:57 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Iowa
A barn sour horse is not fun to ride, and can become dangerous if allowed to continue this kind of behavior. Rearing, running away, or bucking are some of the things a barn sour horse may resort to if it means he gets to go back to the barn, eat his grain, and hang out with his buddies. How do you stop it?

Here are a few tips to prevent a horse from becoming barn sour:

1. Never allow a horse to hurry home from a ride. Trot or lope only when heading out, and make your horse walk when coming back. Don't ride all the way to the hitch rail or barn aisle. Ask your horse to do a few more routine excercises when you get back to the barn so he isn't thinking "yay, we're done!" the minute the barn comes into view.

2. Don't feed your horse the minute you get back from a ride. Let him stand tied for awhile with his tack still on. This is also a good thing to help buddy sour horses---standing tied away from their buddies is good conditioning for their attitudes, and it doesn't hurt a horse to learn patience.

3. Make riding away from the barn a lot of fun. Either go visit some neighboring horses that are far from the barn, or take a treat along that he gets to eat while he's at the farthest point of your ride. You can also stop, dismount, and let him graze for awhile. This will help him look forward to rides away from the barn.

Here are tips for how to ride a barn sour horse:

1. Ride away from the barn, asking him to leave calmly at a nice walk. If he tries to turn back, correct him with rein and leg pressure, not allowing him to turn and go back.

2. If your horse is so insistent that he does in fact get the better of you and is heading back towards the barn and you cannot control him enough to get him to ride away from the barn, then you should make his experience at the barn not a happy one. Make him work harder in the barnyard or as close to the barn as you can get and still work him. Work him at a fast trot, asking him to bend and flex, riding in circles, serpentines, figure eights, anything to make his feet busy and make him work harder. Do this for about five to ten minutes, and do not allow him to stop and relax near the barn.

3. When he is obeying and behaving as you want him to, whoa him and pet him a little, and ask him to walk off calmly again, away from the barn. Continue away as far as you can--a trail ride/hack would be ideal. If at any time he tries to turn, use a lot of leg pressure (if he's turning left, use your left leg hard against his side to press him back straight) and use your reins to firmly keep him moving away from the barn.

4. Keep the ride pleasant as long as he behaves (don't pressure him beyond just leaving the barn, no hard work, no excessive rein pressure as long as he is listening to you, etc.) And the minute he acts up make it not so pleasant (work him in a few circles at a trot, then turn him away from the barn again and allow him to walk).

5. Do not let him hurry home, you decide the pace and stay in control at all times. If he wants to trot or lope and you haven't asked him to, turn him away from the barn and ask for a nice walk again.

These kinds of tactics will help you be firm, stay in control, and get a horse happier to leave the barn. Form habits with your horse that promote keeping his attention and gaining his respect so that he never gets the better of you and heads for home against your will.


 Post subject: Re: Barn Sour Horses
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:03 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:56 am
Posts: 75
Location: Iowa
Kevin Wescott told me once that in an extreme case of a buddy sour horse, you could even tie them to a tree. but he did warn that this could get ugly if the horse decided to panic or go a little crazy it could flip over and possibly hurt itself, and if the horse is freaking out, you are in trouble because it's not safe for the horse and it's not safe for you to go untie them. i do think that all-in-all, tieing them up might not be that bad of an idea in many cases. along those lines, i've heard all sorts of crazy idea's about how to tie a horse up that's buddy sour, such as tie them up with a deflated tire inner-tube so it would flex some when they pulled. i personally find that a little silly.

i think the key with buddy sour horses is to simply recognize the signs and try your best to work around them. also, try to keep experiences away from the other horses positive, for example, set up a round pen out of site of the other horses, and keep the buddy sour horse in there over night or something, making sure they get grain as a treat.

of all the things i might tolerate out of a horse, being buddy sour is def. NOT one i would want to put up with.

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