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Horses screaming to their barnmates at a horse show...

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  • Horses screaming to their barnmates at a horse show...

    This past weekend we took two stablemates to a show - one had been to the facility before, the other hadn't (and is fairly green at shows in general). The two of them continued to holler for each other....the greenie moreso, but the more experienced horse became very distracted at hearing the whinnies and continued to answer back. how do you guys deal with this? Any good advice on curing the problem?
    Last edited by Swale01; Feb. 23, 2009, 12:53 PM.
    "To understand the soul of a horse is the closest human beings can come to knowing perfection."

  • #2
    For some reason I thought u were talking about people....


    • #3
      Haha, I thought you were talking about people, too!


      • #4
        I was thinking people too.... and my advice was going to be to tell them to shut up. Can't really do that w/ horses.


        • #5
          You could try seperating them at the show. Try to have a stall or two between them. Its amazing how attached some horses can get just on the trailer ride. If they live together at home, try to seperate them there also. Especially if they will be showing together all season. I guess that's one advantage to having an anti scocial mare like mine. She hates everyone!

          Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare


          • #6
            I agree with seperating them. Especially at the show. If they live next door at home, you might want to seperate there as well if you are going to be showing both this summer.

            I too thought it was people & all I could think was "barn drama".
            "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"


            • Original Poster

              Haha - I edited the title for clarity.
              "To understand the soul of a horse is the closest human beings can come to knowing perfection."


              • #8
                My barn mate and I trailer to shows a lot together. The work starts at home though. They are not pastured together, their stalls are not right beside eachother and when we trailer, we stick to the divide and win method. They are pulled off the trailer, tacked on different sides and in the schooling ring although we do pass we stay away from eachother for the most part untill we are done showing.

                His horse was more seasoned, but we set the pace right off the bat. Work is work, no matter where we are. It does take some time. When he would call, the work got tougher. I also trailered to other shows alone too. The horse relyed on the other horse less and less.


                • Original Poster

                  Our barn is a very small private barn, and while the two aren't turned out together, their stall proximity is unavoidable. They will definitely be showing together all year. I'm hoping it's something they usually grow out of with time...but would love hearing more experiences/suggestions.

                  We put ear puffs in while schooling at the show (Both in the schoolie's ears and the horse being left in the barn.) It didn't deter the screaming much when it was the greenie being left behind in the barn - but the greenie schooling and the more experienced horse left behind was less an issue after about 15 minutes.
                  "To understand the soul of a horse is the closest human beings can come to knowing perfection."


                  • #10
                    Boy, did I learn this the hard way : D

                    Last summer I trailered to a small, outdoor one-day fun show with my QH and his BFF (warmblood X). We two owners figured that each guy would stay relaxed and focused because of the other's company.

                    Which was the case -- until we broke them up for even a moment.

                    Tied at opposite sides of the trailer? Screaming.

                    Asked to separate their kissy faces in the warm-up ring? Pulling.

                    Actually separating them in our two classes, even though they could see each other thru
                    the fenceline? Meltdown! During the BFF's WTC class, horse bucked in front of the judge, while mine was content to throw it into reverse for several feet, backing me into a line of parked cars while spectators marvelled at the rude beast.

                    Incredibly, my horse settled down and got to business when it came time for my WT class. He waited until the lineup to throw a hissy when he saw his buddy standing outside the fenceline.


                    • #11
                      Funny how many things I can be lax about but this is one thing that I NEVER allow. ANY time it starts, at home even just an easy to ignor little one, I quickly let them know that it is not allowed. Be prepared now. Have a halter with a chain and go somewhere just to practice. Give them a rap and then circle them to distract them. Make it annoying to them that they have to put up with you repeatedly doing this to them over and over until they stand and be quiet. Don't have anything else on your plate until you fix this. I hate it. Nothing is more annoying at a public place than seeing people allow this and having to listen to it.

                      Take charge of the situation. If you're riding the horse , thump - womp him with both legs and circle him sharply until his feet stop. Then stand and relax and praise him. Repeat, repeat when necessary. Get your horse to focus and stay focused on you. Use work, ride in figures, make him work and listen to you.
                      Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.


                      • #12
                        No suggestions here...but if you find a good way to solve this problem, I'd love to know it.

                        Years ago I had an older Appy/Percheron gelding who was in love with a mutt/mixed breed mare. She hated him. Anytime Casper would get near the mare she would pound him relentlessly (he was 16.2...1200lbs...mare was maybe 14.1...700-800lbs?). After a few days of being beat up constantly, we changed their turnout.

                        My gelding eventually went totally blind. I still rode and competed him on the flat in dressage and some open shows. I went to a show one day, rode one class, returned to my trailer and tied my usually calm, collected, blind gelding to the trailer. The Mutt Mare's owner comes to the show and parks his trailer a good 1/4 mile away from us. I never heard the mare call out...but almost immediately my gelding starts in whinnying and blowing and would not shut up. No amount of chastising worked. Mutt Mare and her owner finish their showing and leave...I still had two more classes. As soon as they leave my gelding shuts up.

                        While she was on the show grounds, I could not get my horse to pay attention to me. Nothing I did seemed to work. Once she was gone...he returned to the same, wonderful horse that was willing to do anything I asked. . It got to a point that I was asking Mutt Mare's owner what shows and classes he was going to so I could prepare accordingly. Despite being blind, my gelding always knew the moment that mare came within a 1/4 mile of him. Luckily for me, we didn't cross paths too often as I was showing at a different level than Mutt Mare.

                        The horse I have now is not attached to any other horse. But there will be other horses in the future, and I also, would like to know how to deal with this problem. I know how annoying this can be. Good luck!
                        A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.


                        • #13
                          I've had even my seasoned show horses go through odd relapses with the whole separation anxiety thing. A couple of years ago one of my mares (my chestnut one, go figure) decided that she. had. to. be. in. sight. of my other mare every second of the day.

                          I rode her in several 3'6" jumper classes where she screamed the entire way around the course. There was one really funny picture (in hindsight anyways) of the mare jumping a fence while practically looking behind herself....though she won almost every class she went in despite diversion, so I suppose I can't be too annoyed! My other mare had a royal FIT every time I took the one away, but she was totally fine when she was the one being ridden. I spent the whole warmup at one indoor show watching the head and neck of my chestnut mare above the tops of the portable stalls while she stood on her hind legs and screamed her disapproval at being left "alone" (there were horses in front of her and next to her on the other side).

                          I've never had one that carried the behavior on long term, though, and in a situation where I had a choice I always put stalls between my bonded horses. That was usually enough. Now that I'm only taking 2 to each show I'm stuck, which means I usually listen to one scream the whole time I'm riding the other. But they're both fine when they're the one being ridden, so I suppose it's not too bad to put up with (beyond the embarrassment of knowing YOUR horse is the one making the racket!)
                          Flying F Sport Horses
                          Horses in the NW


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pony grandma View Post
                            Funny how many things I can be lax about but this is one thing that I NEVER allow. ...

                            Take charge of the situation. If you're riding the horse , thump - womp him with both legs and circle him sharply until his feet stop. Then stand and relax and praise him. Repeat, repeat when necessary. Get your horse to focus and stay focused on you. Use work, ride in figures, make him work and listen to you.
                            I heard a slightly similar suggestion at a dressage schooling show, where I overheard the judge talking talking to the (adult ammie) rider after her test, suggesting she not allow her horse to scream the whole time by putting some leg on him each time he was about to do it, to get his attention back on going forward and listening to the rider.

                            I've not had the problem myself, so I can't vouch for the solution.