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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2010
    Posts
    61

    Default Horse has started to balk.

    Mostly on the lead

    Wash stall= balk

    Don't want to go in the trailer = balk

    Doesn't want to cross the stream at Malibu 'Creek' state park - balk (He won that round because I didn't want to wind up on 67 different persons youtubes under the caption "#@&!^$$ beating a horse to death" or something similar.)

    Remind me how do you cure a balker? If you don't have second person at all times behind him with a whip.

    There are some here http://archive.org/stream/horsesecre...0alex_djvu.txt but they are ... Dated an not just a bit cruel in some cases.

    I have an old 'be nice' halter (the rope ones with the studs behind the ears ) but that is more for pulling back. He has me by 1000 pounds so a pulling fight won't work. I would rather not dose with a calming supplement six hours before I wash, load or ride

    PM me any tips that will start a mudslinging catfight and accusations of cruelty, after the posted link anything short of starting a fire under a horses tail will seem mild.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    17,439

    Default

    I had one that used to balk going into the wash stall. I kept a lunge whip handy, just to use as a crop to tap him on the hindquarters to get him moving. I would repeat until he went in willingly. Then the lesson was over. Depending on the size of the horse, you could probably use a dressage whip as well.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2007
    Location
    South of Georgia, North of Miami
    Posts
    1,117

    Default

    I was taught to make them move their feet in any direction you can get them to go in. Left, right, backwards...whatever works make them work. Then ask to go forward again, won't...left, right, backwards, just so they work and move their feet. They don't get to just stand there looking pretty and smelling the roses.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2002
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    11,077

    Default

    If he was fine when you got him and now he's balking then I'm going to have to say that it is some sort of handling error. He probably has always had a balking problem which is invisible with correct handling, but at some point you may have given him an inch and now he's seeing just how far he can take it. You will probably have to work with a trainer to see what kind of things you are doing wrong or right.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
    Location
    down south
    Posts
    5,060

    Default

    What worked for my guy off his back was patience. I'd let I'm see it let him go as far as he wanted and before he stopped to balk I'd turn him away from it walk a few steps and repeat. You have to be quick to do it before the get to say no theirselves. Instead your saying no, you'd be surprised that after a couple times they usually start getting closer to whatever is they are balking at until you finally have them in there. I'd do the same under saddle. Turn him away from the creek walk a few steps and go back to it and repeat. Usually once he did it he was good.

    There is also the keep their feet moving. If they want to balk at a simple command like walk in the wash rack make them work 10 times harder outside it. Try again, then work again. This worked with another horse of mine. Once he figured, heck I can stand here and not get worked he like the idea of everything lol. Under saddle I do the same thing, get to the creek they balk make him trot or canter a 20m circle if you have room. If he is balanced enough even smaller, if not enough room make him work up and down the trail back and forth until he says fine.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2006
    Posts
    938

    Default

    Got to get new old lady glasses. I read at first "horse is starting to talk". Was going to ask content of conversation.


    11 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2010
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Mr Ed talked and I don't remember him going forward very much either.

    If mine starts talking he can stand in one place morning noon and night for all I care. I would love to have access to a bilingual horse translate what some other horses problem really is.

    But he doesn't talk so he will need to learn to go where told to.

    I have to admit the thought of duct taping one of these http://www.petco.com/N_22_4294945200...-Training.aspx to his butt has crossed my mind.
    No I haven't - safety first he would be getting zapped in the ass and 'leading' usually means you are in front...
    Being run down by a horse with an overreaction to a training aid just isn't on my bucket list.
    Doesn't stop me from think'n about it.
    Last edited by Rosem; Apr. 15, 2013 at 07:07 PM.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    1,427

    Default

    You may want to have a health check done just in case. I know that in most of these cases it's a question of behavior but a check up wouldn't be out of line.

    My dear, polite, happy Morgan gelding started to balk and exhibit other behaviors, such as refusing to leave the barn yard under saddle (didn't get away with this) or turning and walking away when he saw me. Turns out he was developing chronic pain in his stifles and hips. Once this was diagnosed and he was put on treatment he didn't balk, give me a challenge to leave the barn or walk away when he saw my car pull into the stable yard.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2010
    Location
    california
    Posts
    4,064

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by redhorse5 View Post
    Got to get new old lady glasses. I read at first "horse is starting to talk". Was going to ask content of conversation.
    Me too.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    1,427

    Default

    I admit it...so did I! ha ha



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2010
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by enjoytheride View Post
    He probably has always had a balking problem which is invisible with correct handling, but at some point you may have given him an inch and now he's seeing just how far he can take it.
    Ding Ding Ding.
    You are right!
    I forgot how much of a pill he was when I got him.

    We need to have a come to Jesus session.

    I'll dig out the stud chain, rope, whips long and short and regain some flipping respect. I prefer respect I'll settle for fear as long as the goals are accomplished.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosem View Post
    Ding Ding Ding.
    You are right!
    I forgot how much of a pill he was when I got him.

    We need to have a come to Jesus session.

    I'll dig out the stud chain, rope, whips long and short and regain some flipping respect. I prefer respect I'll settle for fear as long as the goals are accomplished.
    Seriously?

    Pretty sure that is not at all the way enjoytheride was suggesting you go about things. And I agree with them, if he's been fine all along and all other things being equal, it's probably "operator error", so to speak.
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2010
    Posts
    2,218

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosem View Post
    Ding Ding Ding.
    You are right!
    I forgot how much of a pill he was when I got him.

    We need to have a come to Jesus session.

    I'll dig out the stud chain, rope, whips long and short and regain some flipping respect. I prefer respect I'll settle for fear as long as the goals are accomplished.
    I sincerely hope you're joking. A training issue can't be fixed by tools, you're just putting a bandaid over the issue, which will crop up again. You need to FIX the problem. Teach your horse that you call the shots, but don't beat him or shank him until he gives up. Work to establish respect and communication. A good horse person will get a horse to lead anywhere, without chains or whips.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2010
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Yes I was exaggerating about tools, implying that they were implements of torture -I will use tools to the extent needed. I see nothing wrong with using whips and lead shanks to discipline a horse that knows better.

    Bribing and begging a horse to comply is worse In my opinion because you lose the respect of an animal x times your size.

    I need to step back into the dominant role and stop trying to be his best friend. -My mistake - up to me to correct it, I've done it before, I didn't notice the degree by degree reverting to his past ways until the other post jogged my memory.

    The trainer on site that I like is booked up full right now but when there is an opening I'm sure she will let me know.

    On a scale of 1-10 I would rate his disobedience at about a 3 just enough to be an annoyance.
    Last edited by Rosem; Apr. 16, 2013 at 12:08 AM.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008
    Posts
    3,998

    Default

    Balking is an extremely clever evasion that is very hard to break entirely. Especially in a "true" balker, one that plants his feet harder the more you urge him or hit him.

    My morgan was a true balker. Anything he didn't like he simply grew roots from his hooves. Extremely smart and frustrating.

    Whenever he would get to even think about balking, I'd calmly and patiently run through these exercises: http://www.lesliedesmond.com/index.php?id=113 and these: http://www.lesliedesmond.com/index.php?id=124

    The trick to fixing a balker is catching them and changing their minds before they get a chance to balk. You have to be paying close attention all the time and the moment you suspect he might be setting his feet down you have to move him and do something differently to take his mind completely off the situation. Timing is critical, and if you never give them an opportunity to balk they eventually give up the idea.

    I wouldn't pressure him to do whatever it was he was deciding he didn't want a part of, but instead I would bore him to tears with making him move endlessly. He eventually figured out it was just easier to go along with my plan. I later discovered however, the horse had a very good reason for being a balker, he has broken withers and found riding to be very painful. He became a driving horse, but I nearly backed out of that plan because a balking driving horse is about the worst thing one could ever ask for and is terribly dangerous. Fortunately, when he learned his new job, the balking melted away.

    These days, if he does balk, I know he's got a very good reason.
    Just because you’re afraid, doesn’t mean you’re in danger. Just because you feel alone, doesn’t mean nobody loves you. Just because you think you might fail, doesn’t mean you will.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2012
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    660

    Default

    My Arab gelding was a balker when I first got him. His previous owner had a severe case of "Black Stallion Syndrome" (i.e. magical bond, horse farts glitter and rainbows). The Clinton Anderson/John Lyons "keep his feet moving technique" resolved the problem. One he figured out that he would not be allowed to just stand there and nibble on grass, he gave up the behavior. We had to go through a couple of extinction bursts before he stopped the behavior for (I hope) good.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    1,427

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by buck22 View Post
    Balking is an extremely clever evasion that is very hard to break entirely. Especially in a "true" balker, one that plants his feet harder the more you urge him or hit him.

    My morgan was a true balker. Anything he didn't like he simply grew roots from his hooves. Extremely smart and frustrating.

    Whenever he would get to even think about balking, I'd calmly and patiently run through these exercises: http://www.lesliedesmond.com/index.php?id=113 and these: http://www.lesliedesmond.com/index.php?id=124

    The trick to fixing a balker is catching them and changing their minds before they get a chance to balk. You have to be paying close attention all the time and the moment you suspect he might be setting his feet down you have to move him and do something differently to take his mind completely off the situation. Timing is critical, and if you never give them an opportunity to balk they eventually give up the idea.

    I wouldn't pressure him to do whatever it was he was deciding he didn't want a part of, but instead I would bore him to tears with making him move endlessly. He eventually figured out it was just easier to go along with my plan. I later discovered however, the horse had a very good reason for being a balker, he has broken withers and found riding to be very painful. He became a driving horse, but I nearly backed out of that plan because a balking driving horse is about the worst thing one could ever ask for and is terribly dangerous. Fortunately, when he learned his new job, the balking melted away.

    These days, if he does balk, I know he's got a very good reason.
    Isn't that something that we have (in my case had since my boy is deceased) two VERY SMART MORGANS? That's why I absolutely adore the breed.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2010
    Posts
    632

    Default

    My gelding used to balk on the ground incessantly. I got any number of suggestions from backing him, going side to side to knock him off balance, circling, etc. The more agitated I got, the more he did it. I became a game. One day I finally just decided to wait him out. I kept up a mild pressure on the lead, and then gazed off into the distance as if I didn't care what he did. It only took about 4 minutes. It took the fun out of it for him. He still does it every once in a while, and I use the same approach. Keep up a mild pressure, but otherwise completely ignore it. He can move forward or he can stand there all day. They get bored just standing there very quickly!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by newhorsemommy View Post
    My gelding used to balk on the ground incessantly. I got any number of suggestions from backing him, going side to side to knock him off balance, circling, etc. The more agitated I got, the more he did it. I became a game. One day I finally just decided to wait him out. I kept up a mild pressure on the lead, and then gazed off into the distance as if I didn't care what he did. It only took about 4 minutes. It took the fun out of it for him. He still does it every once in a while, and I use the same approach. Keep up a mild pressure, but otherwise completely ignore it. He can move forward or he can stand there all day. They get bored just standing there very quickly!
    While I don't disagree, I think it probably depends on the horse you have too. I know some horses who'd be completely okay with just standing there forever and wait you out longer than you will end up standing there. Heck, I've got one of them. We only ever had to deal with balking like that once though and ended up resolving the problem that was causing him to balk (it was about something specific).
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.



  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by newhorsemommy View Post
    My gelding used to balk on the ground incessantly. I got any number of suggestions from backing him, going side to side to knock him off balance, circling, etc. The more agitated I got, the more he did it. I became a game. One day I finally just decided to wait him out. I kept up a mild pressure on the lead, and then gazed off into the distance as if I didn't care what he did. It only took about 4 minutes. It took the fun out of it for him. He still does it every once in a while, and I use the same approach. Keep up a mild pressure, but otherwise completely ignore it. He can move forward or he can stand there all day. They get bored just standing there very quickly!
    While I don't disagree, I think it probably depends on the horse you have too. I know some horses who'd be completely okay with just standing there forever and wait you out longer than you will end up standing there. Heck, I've got one of them. We only ever had to deal with balking like that once though and ended up resolving the problem that was causing him to balk (it was about something specific).
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.



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