Sour horses were once great horses, and we as humans in most cases get in the way and cause those once great horses to become sour.
There are many reasons horses become sour, pain, environment, overworked, etc. A lot of times, horses can act and seem happy with one person, but in cases where horses are bought and sold, once the horse arrives in the hands of the new owner can have a difference of opinion about its new situation.
The cause of the sourness could be the new owner is riding it differently, more often, more aggressively, or even more passively than the previous owner had. This could be avoided by giving the horse more time to adapt to your riding style and all the other new things it is trying to process before riding it like you would a horse you have had for years.
Another thing we have to be mindful of is the over-willing horses. The horse that says yes to most things asked of them without much fuss. It’s easy to continue pushing a yes horse to the point where it starts to be overworked, feel overwhelmed, or become sore, which will most likely cause the horse to become sour. Ill-fitting tack is another big reason horses become sour.
Horses are not machines; they have bad days and good days, stiff and sore days. We must make sure we listen to them and let them rest/reward when they have put forth even the tiniest effort, so they will want to come back to you the next day and continue to work with you every day after. Preserve their willingness and desire to learn and to please and try.
The Harmony Horsemanship method and Positive Reinforcement will ensure you constantly connect with your horse making your sessions light and fun so your
horse will enjoy your time together and want to keep coming back to learn more. So, remember, all horses can become sour, and all sour horses were once great and, in time, can hopefully become great once again.