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When, And How To Address
A Problem In A "Bonded" Horse

This page deals with how and when to address a problem - in this case barn sour - in a horse that has completed the "bonder" (bonder URL available by sending any email to my autoresponder,

She writes:


Well, today was not so hot with Cheyenne. Ben went out to saddle her up and attempted to ride her just a little way from the barn and she was not coming on that at all. She would not stand still, she'd back up, she would fidget and head for the barn. Ben finally said to heck with this and took her back to the round pen. He ran her around the round pen several times saddle and all. She tried to show her butt some and he can run her around the round pen with no problems without the lead rope. When he puts the lead rope on and attempts to lunge her, she stands there looking at him, ears go back and she tries to present him her backside. Now what??

The best time to address a problem with a horse is the moment the problem shows up, not when the handler "finally" says to heck with this.

I'm a little uncertain what you mean when you use the words "ran" and "run" in connection with the bonder because running the horse is not the goal, controlling it is. I pay no attention to the horse "showing its butt" during the bonder as long as I am not in danger. I consider that to be a horse's way of saying, "You're not the boss of me!" To me that means nothing because in that pen, I am the boss. Period. Now if the horse gets close enough to me to possibly reach me with that attitude I will convince it that that is a grave error on its part. I will not allow it near it me until it is showing me the respect I want.

As far as the "grave error on its part" goes, I mean that if the horse comes in toward me in an aggressive or belligerent manner I will threaten it, even pop it with a whip. Originally I tried to get people to do without a whip under most circumstances but I soon came to realize that it was easier said than done for the inexperienced both for confidence and safety reasons. I now almost always use a whip when I perform the bonder more as an extension of my reach than anything else and to demonstrate how a whip can be used.

If the horse was in a herd situation and closed in on the lead mare in a disrespectful manner the lead mare would take a plug out of the disrespector and do everything in its power to stop the disrespect and would kick the daylights out of the offender until it changed its attitude. Both parties know that is the way such situations are dealt with and accept it. When one closes in on me to the point I am uncomfortable with it, I will retaliate FOR AS LONG AS THE TRANSGRESSION IS OCCURRING. As soon as the transgression is diverted or stopped, I forget it ever happened and go on.

It is important that the horse not be held during retaliation. It must be given the opportunity to reconsider and withdraw. The negative energy must be expended ONLY during the time the aggression is occurring.

I am also uncertain about the lungeing. That is not part of the bonder either. The horse may not lunge because it hasn't been taught to lunge. I am pretty much willing to bet the horse hasn't been trained. Oh, I'm sure that it may have been extensively ridden by someone, but the fact that someone is able to ride it and do things with it is no proof that it was ever properly "broke" in the first place. I fail to see how lungeing would help establish control.

I do have some longeing DVDs available in my DVVD inventory you may find helpful. Click Here.

But I digress, we want to get the horse away from the barn.

Since this horse has been through the bonder I probably would just tack it up. The moment it acted up I would say, "Annnnt!! Quit!". If it did not, I would take it to the RP and redo the bonder. When the bonder was finished I would continue tacking. If it gave me any grief I would send it out a couple times in one direction then a couple in another and then give it the opportunity to comply again.

Since this is training, I would concentrate on establishing control and not worry about riding. When the horse is compliant and tacked, I would lead it out of the RP with the same leading skills I'd developed in the RP. I would be concentrating on moving my zone of control from the RP to down the block.

You have to visualize that horse moving with you as you move. You would want to see just how little effort it takes you to bring the horse where you want it to go.

Get the horse compliant next to you in the RP. Then move her closer to the gate and get her compliant there. Then out of the gate. Then down the pathway away from the barn. You just keep stretching your boundaries.

Try to keep your leading like that pictured on

All that is between you and success are a few nuances.

Best to you,

Click here to check out my very reasonably priced DVD inventory covering many of the subjects featured on my site's pages in greater depth.

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