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Barn Sour Horses

16 August 2011 No Comment

Barn Sour Horses
We asked horse training expert Rhett Russell.
More on Rhett.

I am looking for better way to work with a horse that has problems leaving the barn and keeps trying to turn back and is in a hurry to get back. What is a good way to handle this? Thanks, Larry

Dear Larry: Since you know that your horse is a herd animal it’s only reasonable that he would be concerned when he’s out of site of the herd. This tells you how your horse thinks about you in the herd thought too! If he were trusting and secure with you as the herd leader, then he would look to you for support. He doesn’t feel that way so he’s looking to the horse he left behind or the barn where all the food is for that support. Separation anxiety is not something you are going to “fix” in a day. But you can make big progress over a short time frame if you attack the problem in a way that the horse understands.

I would practice taking the horse in and out of the barn so that he can see that he’s coming back and nothing bad happened while he was gone. Do this in small increments. Start by just going out the door, standing for a few, rewarding the horse and then take him back. Progress to going out of site, standing for a few minutes, rewarding, and then going back. Work up to going off the property for a short period of time. It takes a long time to do this but you may have to work up to a point where the horse is not sweating head to toe from nervous energy.

Good Luck, Rhett

CAUTION: There is some risk involved in horse training for both you and the horse. Horses can cause serious injury. Be sensible and donÕt attempt anything that is outside your comfort level. This information is intended to illustrate how we apply our training techniques, you are responsible for using this information wisely. If you donÕt feel comfortable with your abilities or an exercise, donÕt do it! Seek advice or assistance from a professional horse trainer.

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