A ‘sour’ horse is often described as one that is reluctant to go forward, usually giving some of the following behaviours
- kicking out
- laying ears back
- slowing down
When a horse becomes sour, there is no one single ‘magic’ cure.
The first thing to do is to find out the reason they are sour. Horses don’t change their behaviour for no reason. It is one of their ways of communicating with you. Many people blame their horse for bad behaviour, but a horse becoming sour is often caused by bad management.
It could be that they have some type of soreness/ stiffness and someone is asking them to do a task that causes them pain. It could also be that they consider themselves higher in the pecking order than you!
When a horse has over exerted themselves or has some soreness that needs to heal, they can be given some time off. But the horse that considers that they are higher in the pecking order may need a strong confident rider to change their behaviour.
The main thing to remember is to increase your communication skills with your horse and allow them to tell you why they are not happy
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Do You Know Any ‘Sour’ Horses? – International Horse College
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