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Marissa Raymo will discuss everything about horses, including horse health care tips, training tips, equestrian friendly trails, horse buying info and much more.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Another Day, Another Nightmare - Fixing The Buddy Sour/Barn Sour Horse

Once again, another beautiful day turned into a bloody catastrophe. Upon returning from what was supposed to be a calm, relaxing trail ride with Lyric and Koda, my palomino pony is found running back up the driveway from....the ROAD??

When I left, George was pacing up and down the fence line as usual, calling frantically to his mare as she walked away reluctantly. But unlike most days, where he'd settle down and nibble at the grass as soon as she is out of earshot, my little 12.2 hand high pony decided to jump the 4 FOOT HIGH solid wood stall gate to chase after her! Twice!

I imagine this is what motherhood must feel like. That moment of sheer terror as you realize that your precious child has run into traffic despite the thousand times you've told them not to. At 20-some years old, after living most of his life alone, I now have a buddy sour & barn sour pony! What are the odds?!

If you're wondering how it is possible to be both buddy sour (doesn't like to leave his pasture mates) & barn sour (doesn't like to leave the barn/pasture area), here's how:
Buddy Sour - George flips out when his pasture mates leave for a trail ride or refuses to leave without them.
Barn Sour - When George is taken out for a ride with his pasture mates, he will stop walking the moment he gets sight of a trail that leads toward home, and insists that the trail ride ends for everybody. 

So basically George just wants to hang out in the pasture with his buddies for the rest of his life, never having to work or be alone. 

Don't we all, George. Don't. We. All.

But the worst part? His obnoxious behavior appears to be contagious as now the other two barn mates are displaying the same buddy sourness!

So how do we "fix" this issue? With lots and lots of patience and practice. 

I'll work on unsour-ing my horses and report back to you with what methods worked (or didn't work) for me. But for now, here are a couple of great articles with training tips for the barn sour/buddy sour horse:

Cowboy Logic of the Day
"If you expect to follow the trail, you must do your sleepin' in the winter."



Anonymous Cindy Lee said...

I know that must have been a difficult day, but you sound like you are loving the journey anyway. And yes, as the mother of four wonderful children, it does put me in mind of parenting.

May 18, 2010 at 6:49 PM 

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