I've read some of your stories
and I'm learning more everyday. I like the story about the sour barn horse. It
gave me some good information on what not to do. Instead of buying a horse just
yet I'm going to try a pony first. It's for my grandson who is four. The pony
I am looking at is 7 years old and always been around other horses. The owner
assures me she will be fine by herself. What are some signs of barn sourness to
look for? Also I've heard and read I should keep her in the barn at first, for
two weeks or so. Is this true? Dave
first question is does your grandson know how to ride? Four is pretty young and
he should receive some lessons from a qualified instructor on a school pony or
horse before you purchase a pony for him.
the pony you refer to has lived with other horses all of her life, she may be
a "different horse" once she is alone. The only way to find out is to
try her out.
First have the
owner demonstrate for you. If she is a well trained pony, the owner should be
able to lead her anywhere on the farm/ranch, take her in and out of the barn,
tie her up to groom and tack her, and she should be able to be ridden anywhere
alone or with other horses
you should test ride her at her present home. If she is too small for you to ride,
perhaps you can find an experienced child rider to try her out.
you will need to conduct the test at your home as well. Perform all the things
the owner did. Go in the pen and catch and halter her, take her to the area where
you can safely tie and groom her, lead her around your barn and property so she
can get used to any unusual sites or sounds at your place. If all goes well, tack
her up and lead her around, and finally, have someone ride her.
might want to see if you can have her for a trial period so if she is not controllable
when alone, you can return her.
are the signs of possible barn sourness? Whinnying, swerving around, balking,
breaking into a nervous sweat, swishing her tail, having a bout of nervous diarrhea,
stomping her feet, pawing, rearing, bucking, spooking, and running back to the
As far as keeping the pony
inside the barn for two weeks, it depends on your management situation. If possible,
fix her an in-and-out situation consisting of a stall and run or a shed and a
run so she can go in when she wants and can be outside when she wants. Be sure
the fences of the run are safe.