I need help with a horse balking. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-13-2012, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Question I need help with a horse balking.

My Arabian, Paragon, has a bad habit of balking when he doesn't want to go somewhere. It is only when we are riding at home and only when I am mounted. As soon as I dismount, he will follow me almost anywhere. I have tried kicking him really hard, using a crop, and a few other things. How do I get him to move with out having to dismount? He has tried bucking a few times, but I don't let him get his head down very far so he stops trying. I don't think it is pain, because the saddle seems like it fits him really well and he only does it at home, anywhere else when I am riding him in the same saddle he is fine. Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-13-2012, 02:58 PM
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Pivots and spins. Usually it's like beating a mule (no offense to mule owners, I think they are lovely xD) to get a horse to go forward when he has planted his feet. So sit down low, open your outside rein, put your inside leg on, and smack that shoulder. Pull him around into a pivot/spin is my secret weapon for balky horses. Then I just keep them going in circles (they can't buck), until they get ramped up and send them forward as fast as I can with a crop on the butt, lol.
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-13-2012, 03:03 PM
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I'm glad to hear that someone else has the same problem as me, though I'm not happy that it's happening to you...it's frustrating! Dies it happen in the same spot?

My TB does this when he doesn't want to do something, he knows the jumps on the side of the ring are not going to jump and kill him but he knows he can balk at them, stop and that no power in the world can get him to go forward.

I do side passes, shoulder-in, spirals to make sure my horse is focused on me and then when I go past the horse eating jumps, I ask him to shoulder-in before he even thinks about those jumps and it's no fuss...it's prevention rather than cure. Prevent the problem before it happens. I would find what makes your horse slow down and focus on you and then when you are riding ask for that before you get to her "scary area of doom".
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post #4 of 17 Old 09-14-2012, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I will try turning him in circles next time he does that, oh vair oh. And 4everiding, he does it mostly in the same spot, going around his "scary" corner. Thank you so much for the advice!
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post #5 of 17 Old 09-14-2012, 02:10 PM
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Balking is a sign of resistance and is (as noted here) typically fear based.

You may have brought his horse along in his training faster than he can tolerate (creating fear) or he may be very green and is so unsure of himself he simply stops. The horse sees it as the safe thing to do.

Balking can become very habitual and can be very difficult to fix.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
(or woman!!!! ) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-14-2012, 02:28 PM
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Keep his feet moving in the general direction that you want. Forward, sideways whatever - as long as he moves safely and in the direction you want. Over time that will morph into moving nicely.
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-14-2012, 02:37 PM
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I had this problem with my appy when i first got him. It wasn't that he was afraid it was that he simply didnt want to go where i wanted him to. This typically happened when we were trail riding alone and came to a spot where the trail split off in 2 directions. If I turned him in the direction he wanted to go all was fine but if I wanted to go on a different trail than he wanted he would plant his feet. I spun him in small circles both directions just to get his feet moving and he soon realized it was much harder doing that then moving forward. Now when he hesitates at a fork in the trail I just say "NO" and squeeze with my legs and he walks on. It only took about 3-4 times to change his behavior.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-14-2012, 03:14 PM
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If he only does it at home then it isn't fear based. In the UK we call it 'napping'. Its a resistance to work because he thinks in his mind you will give up and he knows his field or barn are close by
Sometimes its caused by being ridden inconsiderately but whatever the cause he needs to realise that you wont give up and that he can enjoy work
I've found that using a whip on these sort often makes things worse and they will either spin and bolt back to the yard or start a rearing and bucking routine
Getting his mind to think about something else is the best way to deal with him - as Clinton would say (And I'm not a follower of anyone but he is right on this) get his feet moving and make the other side of his brain work
Turning him around in small tight circles, constantly changing direction will force him to concentrate on that and not on going home
Dont forget to talk to him, establish a good relationship with him on the ground so that he understand verbal commands and then use these from the saddle - it does sound as if you have already made a good start there so just keep reinforcing it. he trusts you, now he needs to respect you
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-14-2012, 06:27 PM
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It sounds like barn sour. My mare did that and small circles got her out of it. We have an Appy that balks whenever he decides he is done, and small circles just made him worse, and then you couldn't even get a circle out of him. So with that behavior I jumped off and lunged him there on the trail til he was willing to work again. Took 4 times one day but since that day he has been a good, willing worker.
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-15-2012, 07:42 AM
Green Broke
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A true balker will not move PERIOD.. Any direction at all. Very difficult to fix.

Train a default move that you can always ask for any where at any time (like a right turn). Teach that ad nausem. When your horse balks, try asking for the default (redirects his mind) and then ask him to move forward again.

The default is always a "safe" thing for the horse to do and can redirect him from resisting.
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There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
(or woman!!!! ) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
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