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I need help with a horse balking.

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  • Horse balks scared wait it out
  • Forums horse balking on trail

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    09-15-2012, 01:21 PM
  #11
Trained
I know someone who just sits and out-waits the horse. Then makes them stand and wait for longer, and then continues on their way. Works with nearly every horse. Some of them take hours, some only a few minutes, but they nearly always end up getting so sick of standing still that they want to get moving again. I don't know that I would do it (gives the horse what it wants) but hey, what works for the individual...

I just get off and lead. My gelding only balks if there's something terrifying in front of him, and if I get off and go first, he'll follow me into anything. My filly is balky too at the moment but she's 2 (not under saddle yet don't worry) and hasn't seen much, so I encourage her to move forward, and then flick her with the end of the lead rope.
     
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    09-15-2012, 03:34 PM
  #12
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffanyodonnell    
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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I have noticed that he only balks going away from home, but on the way back he is fine. He is also a lazy, stubborn horse by nature, so I don't think its fear.
     
    09-15-2012, 03:46 PM
  #13
Weanling
My horse also balks at almost anything heading away from the barn and nothing going towards it. I think a small part of it is fear and a large part of it is laziness/stubborness. He is definitely underconfident, but I know when he is just being touch and barn sour as opposed to scared. I turn him to the right and circle if we are along a road. If we are on trails I sit deep and close my legs to keep him from moving backwards. Then I ask him to go forward. If he does not respond I don't let him move in any direction unless it is forward. This seems to work, as he gets the idea that if he doesn't go where I want him to he is never going home either lol. Of course this "wait it out " method only works where there is no traffic to contend with.
     
    09-15-2012, 03:48 PM
  #14
Trained
That's the other reason my gelding balks, OP. If he hasn't been worked for a while and I go to take him out he plants his feet and won't move unless I have spurs and/or a whip. Considering I don't ride with a whip any more, and haven't for quite a long time, spurs are my only option. That, or staying home for the first few rides when I bring him back into work after a break.
     
    09-15-2012, 09:32 PM
  #15
Yearling
My gelding that balks was also poor at transitions from w/t and t/c. We worked on those transitions and when he picked up quickly I rewarded him with rest. He is much better now. He also only balks on the way out, and only at home, not when we trailer to a trail. He doesn't balk with me anymore or my friend who rides him often. She wears spurs with him. I don't but I don't have to, he moves for me now. This is one of those problems that I dealt with directly when it happened and then it's solved. He doesn't try it anymore.
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    09-15-2012, 09:52 PM
  #16
Yearling
I retread the other replies about it being resistance and/or fear based. Roudy hasnt balked in a long time since I got off and made him lunge 4 times that day ... With one exception. We were packing into Seven Lakes Basin and took the Pacific Crest Trail around Devils Peak. It was very steep and narrow. Roudy was leading the group and was ponying a pack horse. He stopped and I'm sure it was fear. We were all afraid! His rider got off and led him and he was fine. But I don't blame him for stopping that time!
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    09-16-2012, 12:46 AM
  #17
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffanyodonnell    
I retread the other replies about it being resistance and/or fear based. Roudy hasnt balked in a long time since I got off and made him lunge 4 times that day ... With one exception. We were packing into Seven Lakes Basin and took the Pacific Crest Trail around Devils Peak. It was very steep and narrow. Roudy was leading the group and was ponying a pack horse. He stopped and I'm sure it was fear. We were all afraid! His rider got off and led him and he was fine. But I don't blame him for stopping that time!
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Ok, this is so weird! I rode on that EXCACT same trail last year on Paragon! It was SO fun!
     

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