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    1999 Cherry Hill

How To Think Like A Horse
How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill
Horse For Sale by Cherry Hill
Making Not Breaking by Cherry Hill
Dear Cherry:

     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

Dear Dave,

     My 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.

     Since 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

     Then 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.

     Then 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.

     You 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.

     What 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 barn.

     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.

Cherry Hill

  1999 - 2000 Cherry Hill 


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