Ways to end alleyway balking while in the saddle.
   

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Ways to end alleyway balking while in the saddle.

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  • How to stop horse from balking
  • Excercises for horses that balk at the alley

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    09-16-2012, 12:53 PM
  #1
Started
Ways to end alleyway balking while in the saddle.

So pepper my playday horse has started to balk at the alleyway and will refuse to go in. This has resulted in him having to be lead into the arena then he will go. Pepper was lame for a year and a half after I had to use a farrier I normally didn't use and he put two hot nails on one of his hooves which then later abscessed and broke away half of the side wall of his hoof. This was a very traumatic experience for me and him. Anyways I never had alleyway problems before this happened and this is his first year back competing and I'm taking it easy with him just trying to get him back in shape again. So what are some alleyway exercises to ease his anxiety. It's upsetting because I'm sure it was me who created the balking problem because we didn't have a place to practice that had an alleyway till recently so now all alleyway means is I have to run! At the practice arena I have been walking him in and out of the alleyway walking as we practice trying to show him it's not all run but he knows the difference between practice and competition so we go pretty much back to square one when we go other places. So some training exercises would be an amazing help! Thanks!
     
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    09-26-2012, 08:46 PM
  #2
Foal
My boy had and still (sometimes! He's getting better!) has a balking issue. He was a spoiled brat and if he didn't want to go somewhere and started to turn around or go in the direction HE wanted to.. he got it. He was very insecure without his buddies, didn't respect or trust his owner and had the WORST jumpy anixety anywhere he was unfimilar with. Very balky. This went on with him and his old owners for YEARS, since he was 2 months old and now he's 11 and been 100% mine for about 3 months now.

I understand you say he is afraid because of a past experience, but as the lead mare you need to show him by earning his trust and respect that it is okay! He will be safe with you! You would be suprised how much a horse's anxiety will go down if they see you as a leader. They may still be 'nervous' but they won't second guess your decision. So first ask yourself - does he have my respect? Does he come to me in the pasture, can I touch him anywhere, groom him anywhere? Does he listen to me, or walk all over me? Does he like being with me or does he run when I try to catch him in the field? You will never fix a balking problem without trust and respect. And that comes through quality time (treats,loving,etc) and disipline!

What I do is keep a crop with me at all times, and if you don't have a crop extra reins will do. Continue your on your way until he starts to balk. Don't let him turn, don't like him back. PUSH him foward, use your voice and your legs. If you need to smack him on the shoulder with the crop/reins do so. Once he starts to go foward (and only foward in the direction you want to go in) release all pressure and continue on. Their 'praise' is the release of all pressure from my voice/legs/crop. I expect my horse to go everywhere and anywhere I tell them to. This has always worked for me when it comes to balking in saddle. Evenually when you pass by that spot they like to balk, they will get so tired of fighting you they will just go.

Going in another direction or letting him make you turn around, go another way, etc. Is him winning! I know when horses balk some people like to turn them in a circle and continue foward. I do not do that because then they are winning. I do not lose when it comes to my horses. I am the head mare and they know that. Very little do they test me. And when they do - it stops quickly. Horses LEARN to balk. You'll never unteach them that, but you can control them when they try to.

If he balks while you are leading him, do not pull on the lead line. Get at his butt! That is the engine to every horse.My horse was so bad that he would plant his feet and not move for nothing! I started out nice, just sending energy to his backend to push him foward and he still wouldn't budge so you know what? SMACK right on the hind, they are have to learn that you can be nice, and life can be easy, but don't mess with me because I will mess back harder. If my horse stops when I lead him somewhere, all I have to do is turn around and point at his butt and he starts moving. They will learn all it takes is consistency, time, and demand for respect.

Good Luck balking horses can be a pain!
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    09-26-2012, 08:55 PM
  #3
Started
See its only with this that we are having a behavior problem this horse will go anywhere do anything I tell him to do. You don't get much more broke than him. Just doesn't want to go in they alley when he knows he has to work. I put on spurs and I've whipped his rear end he doesn't move. I don't turn circles either I think that is stupid. So I'm thinking about changing from a regular hackemore to a combo bit hack and seeing if he will be more respectful with that. I've trained all my horses myself so I'm just trying to figure out a away that its rewarding for him to go in.
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    09-26-2012, 10:49 PM
  #4
Showing
Beating on him will do nothing except make him think you are someone to fear. Fear creates false compliance. By this I mean should something happen beyond your control these horses are the first to be reactionary and literally let you down. A relationship built on trust is a whole different matter, the horse will seek your guidance. For a year his whole life has evolved around his stall. He may have become fearful of everything else beyond it. It represents a lot of security. Many of us train horses but one day there's always one that gives us a bit of a come-uppance. This horse may be yours. Don't look to a gimmick to win his respect. Take the time and win it.
     
    09-26-2012, 11:10 PM
  #5
Started
Well I don't want to beat on him which is why I was wanting to try a combo hack instead. I never had him balk at anything since he was a baby. So this is weird for him. So ill keep trying different things there's gotta be a way to make him go back to the way he was.
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    09-27-2012, 08:07 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppy Barrel Racing    
See its only with this that we are having a behavior problem this horse will go anywhere do anything I tell him to do. You don't get much more broke than him. Just doesn't want to go in they alley when he knows he has to work. I put on spurs and I've whipped his rear end he doesn't move. I don't turn circles either I think that is stupid. So I'm thinking about changing from a regular hackemore to a combo bit hack and seeing if he will be more respectful with that. I've trained all my horses myself so I'm just trying to figure out a away that its rewarding for him to go in.
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This is not a bit problem. It is a security/training issue. This is going to take time. My horse sounds just like your guy. He hated going into the arena, he would balk. But I made him go, he didn't have a choice. He could fight with me but I looked at it like this - if he put up a fight for two hours, I'm ready. Also - don't make the alleyway just work. At the end, get off , give him some good loving, a carrot or two, hose him down and hand graze him. Make listening and working something to look forward too. When we get done riding my boy looks at me like "okay I was good can I have a carrot please??" Time, trust, and respect and I promise you ANY balking issue will be SOO much easier to fix and control. If he is putting up that much of a hard time, it means he doesn't trust and respect you 100%.
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    09-27-2012, 08:14 PM
  #7
Foal
Oh and when I said reinforcing your command with a "smack" if he doesn't listen - I did not mean to beat him or make him get so worked up that he fears you. He should never be afraid of a crop/whip/Etc. It is an extension of your arm. One good tap of the crop should be good enough. If he freaks out more because of a crop that means he is fearful of it, you have to desensitize him of it first so he knows it is not something to fear. It just reinforces what I'm asking if he decides not to comply when I ask nicely.
     
    09-27-2012, 08:42 PM
  #8
Started
Lol he isn't afraid of a crop nothing freaks this horse out. He just wants to be disrespectful and not go in. I'm saying I could smack him till I was blue in the face when it comes to this he doesn't want to go in. He will also go in the arena when he knows he doesn't have to run he isn't afraid of the alleyway. He doesn't want to run.
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    09-27-2012, 08:57 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppy Barrel Racing    
Lol he isn't afraid of a crop nothing freaks this horse out. He just wants to be disrespectful and not go in. I'm saying I could smack him till I was blue in the face when it comes to this he doesn't want to go in. He will also go in the arena when he knows he doesn't have to run he isn't afraid of the alleyway. He doesn't want to run.
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Your last sentence may be the problem.
     
    09-27-2012, 08:58 PM
  #10
Started
Yup I agree with you. I think I'm just going to go about back to square one and pretend he is a young horse who is just learning the pattern. Try to find a way to make it rewarding again.
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