Horses are herd animals. They feel safe and secure in numbers. This can cause problems for riders though. A buddy sour horse will begin to panic when you take them away from their herdmates. The horse may buck, bolt, holler, or stop listening to your cues. Instead of being focused on you, their mind is back on the group. It’s important you resolve this issue before it gets out of control!
Clinton Anderson maintains a simple approach- work the horse around its buddies and let them rest when they’re alone. They quickly figure out that being around their friends means working hard. The more you try to separate buddy sour horses, the more they want to stick together. So, you have to show them it’s actually more enjoyable to be without their friends.
Horses learn from the release of pressure. When working the horse around the herd, you apply pressure. When you separate them from the group, release the pressure. That’s their reward for being alone!
Try this exercise:
They key is completing the exercise four to five times in a row and for a few days. Horses that live together will need regular maintenance or they may fall back into their old ways.
It’s impractical to have a horse that can’t be without their buddies. Whether you ride alone or bring them into the barn for the farrier, there will always be times when they can’t be with their herd. It’s essential you show them that being away isn’t so bad!
Make sure to also read ‘The Patience Pole Teaches Your Horse To Stand Quietly‘.