My horse is buddy-sour, now what?

Sometimes it can be hard to take your horse away from his buddies. He just wants to be with them and starts acting up as soon as you start taking him away.

For example, you might put the halter on him just fine, but as you try to walk away with him, he just stands still refusing to make a step. Or even worse, he might start rearing and showing aggression.

a horse misbehaving

This problem is always caused by not having enough respect with your horse. Then, the other horses are more important to him than you are.

You might have these issues with one particular horse only, but that changes nothing. Horses are different and it might be more difficult to get respect with some particular horse than with another.

In this situation, you can’t really take your horse to a round pen to start working on getting some respect, so you are left with one option. You have to start working on it right there next to the other horses.

The real reason for a horse to be buddy-sour

You can get respect by making your horse do something for you, and it doesn’t matter if you make your horse do something very simple for you. If your horse doesn’t want to move forward, just try to ask him to turn around. Get him to yield his hindquarters.

After you get him to move from your pressure to the side, you can try to get him to make at least 2 or 4 steps forward, and then get him to back up.

Just repeat these simple things, without much of a delay in between them and try to get your horse to react better and better. Make sure that your horse will not crash into you or try to push you with his body or his head. It is very important that he respects your space, and follows you.

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If your horse tries to bump into you or push you, he is just showing you that he is the boss and that he won’t listen to you. Like that, he basically says that you should listen to him. If your horse bumps into you or tries to push you, push him away quickly and decisively. You can use your lead rope to push him away.

As soon as my horse starts listening to me better, I start to gradually guide him away from the other horses. First maybe 10 meters away then 20 meters and I just continue to work with him as I did in the beginning. I make sure that he continues to pay attention to me and not to the other horses. If he turns to the other horses, I pull the lead rope and turn his head towards me.

Horses always look at what is most important for them at the moment. If you always turn your horse’s head toward you, you basically tell him that at the moment you are the most important thing that he should focus on.

As you continue to do the easy exercises try to get further and further away from the other horses. Don’t do any breaks, keep the different exercises coming one after another without a delay. Also, try to get your horse to go with you on a loose lead rope, he should start walking as you start walking without you having to pull the lead rope.

I continue the exercises until I guide my horse completely out of sight of his buddies.

It might take longer than you expect

It might take hours to actually get your horse to leave his buddies and pay attention to you. However, how long it takes is not important. What is important is that you will solve a problem and further develop your relationship with your horse.

It doesn’t matter whether you are working with your horse in a round-pen or in a pasture.

When your horse becomes budy sour, don’t be sad. Just take it as an oportunity to create a better bond with him (or her). If you are succesful, your horse will follow you anywhere, anytime.

My horse is buddy-sour, now what?
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