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Question: how to fix a horses with bad alley issues
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Author Topic: awsome horse bad alley issues  (Read 2342 times)
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k_d_c_1991
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« on: April 20, 2009, 12:00:06 PM »

hey there,
 my freind is trying this really awsome barrel horse. but he has a big problem with the alley. the people that had him before or that still own him were really mean to him. they turned him out for 2 years because of the problems that he has in the alley way. we took him to a jack pot the other day and he was fine till we got close to the alley way. he ran off with me like 2 time and he rears and lunges foward. even just standing by the ally. when you get him in the ally he is fine and runs a really good pattern i would have taken 3rd at this jack pot but i pulled over the last barrel becase i was leaning and a stoped kicking we barely knocked it over. i pulled up coming home and still would have placed 3rd. he is so nice but the alley issues is the only thing keeping us from geting him. do you have any sugestions to help him get over this problem. we dont want to let him go if we can get these problems fixed.
any suggestions would be great.
thanks
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2009, 12:41:27 PM »

i have a horse that had alley issues my first suggestion would be to vet this horse ans see if there are any issues going on with him hurting and if not ck with the chiro to see if hes out somewhere, and if not then my vet suggested trying clorpromazine 1cc 4 hrs before race, and this has worked for me i dont take my mare to the alley till its my turn and the other girl is coming out and works good always keep foreward motion going to the alley...
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2009, 11:16:59 AM »

My horse (a hot mess, to be sure!) and I began having alley issues about three months ago. Been told everything on how to fix it, and nothing worked til this: I take him out about an hour before his run and warm him up, away from everything as much as possible. Then tie him back to the trailer, remove boots, loosen girth, let him nibble some hay and drink, and leave him alone.  Drag or so before my run: I boot him, girth him, get on, and time it so that i get to the alley as they are calling my name. I don't stop forward motion or give him even a moment to look around, just go straight in. This has been working for us. He is way too intense to be able to handle all the sensory input of being in a warm up area with a bunch of other horses and simply cannot stand around waiting his turn. So I don't ask him to. Now that being said, he is chiropracted regularly by the best I have found, and has recently started having to have his hocks injected. My advice: make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN it is not physical, then work on the mental. You want this game to be fun for the horse also, so no "come to Jesus meetings" in the alley or they will always associate the alley with a whoopin'. I try to make the alley a "happy place" by standing there at practice (he used to would not do that, no way no how, and did it great last night). This is working for us and I highly recommend it.
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Miriam Mize

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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2009, 07:35:37 AM »

Hi...

The girls here are all offering some great suggestions.  I have ridden some difficult horses
behind the alley myself.  Alot of them.  If its not physical (and alot of the time its not,
especially when you find yourself clocking the times that you need to, to win) its purely a
mental issue with the horse.   Finding a way to relax the horse before the run, even if it
means stepping off of him, and not stepping back on him until right before you go in the arena
is sometimes an option.  Having a horse that he likes and knows, sit and wait with him is also another
option.  Warming up early, getting off, and tieing him up, then getting back on and leading him
back up there and then getting on is another.  You can stay wayyyyyyyy far away from everyone,
and everything, and then have a friend signal you that its your turn and come at a relaxed trot in
forward motion. 
Alot of the time what I see is riders who are clenching up, or picking a horse "up" way before they
get to the alley.  What I tell them, is ride the horse NO DIFFERENT than you would if you were going
for a ride in the pasture...loose.  One hand on the reins, make sure you are sitting straight up, with
your legs riding very loosely and relaxed.  I tell my students to imagine you are in the "meadow"....
Don't try to hurry him along, let him me-ander on that direction and don't try to position the horse until
you already running down the alley.  Anytime you signal him that you are going to position him before you
get in the alley, he will ball up and start his anxieties.  So change your game plan.

Its very hard to achieve all of this if you are not relaxed yourself.  And holding pens are the worst.
I know when you have to get into that situation with one of these kinds of horses that its very unmanagable.
You have to rely on YOUR ABILITY to keep the horse quiet.  I assure you, the quieter you are, the better
response you will get.    Let us know how you are doing.

Thanks,
Laura Schumann
Laura's Ladder to Success Barrel Clinics
I BELIEVE TOUR 2009
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 08:16:57 AM »

Wow, I am flattered that I am on the same page as Laura!!  This really works for me.  Last Sat at Montgomery, I was number 115.  I couldn't hear or see what was going on from my trailer, so I got on too early (someone had told me they were on no. 100, but they were only on 95 or so).  I stood under a shade tree far from the arena and let him do what I thought was relax.  When they called my name, I went up to go in.  Had nice forward motion til someone stepped in front of me (we might would have made it but for that, but such is the game!).  He backed up across the warm up area, scattering people and horses.  But once I got him headed in again, it was all good.  I stayed relaxed in my legs and kept looking forward and sat way deep and quiet.  He worked super for me.  This is a sure sign that his physical is shut down nicely, and that I must keep him quiet ahead of time.  I am so, so glad that I did not listen to the folks who told me to force the issue - my horse is very honest and never cheats me in a run, so I really want to go back to where this is as fun for him as it is for me!!
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Miriam Mize

The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a [wo-]man; Winston Churchill

I never want to look back at my life and say, "I wish I had . . .";
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