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Alley Issue
ready2rodeo
Reg. Jan 2009
Posted 2019-01-24 10:05 AM
Subject: Alley Issue


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Ok first I want to say that this horse is not sore. I have had him gone over. Now the issue.....

He does not refuse. In fact it is quite the opposite. Obviously when I am ready he knows. And takes OFF!!! I can not just get him to walk up. And when I say take off its all out around corners all of it. He would start to the first from the trailer if he could. Warming up etc he is wonderful, you would never ever think it. Any ideas of something I can do? I do tons of slow work riding in the pasture, I have done exhibitions and just went in slow, nothing seems to work when it comes to actual go time!! I am so frustrated, because I don't want something to happen and one or both of us get hurt!! Thanks in advance.
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horsegirl
Reg. Feb 2004
Posted 2019-01-24 10:24 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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How about after you warm him up, you dismount and wait to get back on until you are near the alleyway?
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Runninbay
Reg. Sep 2004
Posted 2019-01-24 10:33 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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I have a mare that is similar. She would take off from the back forty if I let her. Problem is she is already a free runner so if I let her do that then she gets strung out and doesnt always shift down for her first barrel. Plus she has this tendencey to want to take off sideways and im not about that. So over the years I have attempted to hold her as long as I can, even making her stop and stand in the chute. She is pretty light in the face and not a powerhouse so she is easy to control. It's worked ok for the most part. However, I will say that over the years she has become extra enxious around the gate. To the point she will be shaking and even spin before going in the gate now. And I honestly think this is because I have tried so hard to get her to relax and settle down. I sometimes wish I had just let her be and then she wouldnt have this built up anxiety about it. Thats my 2 cents. If he is being dangerous, then I dont blame you and I would definitely try to do something about it. But if you can find a happy medium and he still gets to run like he wants, let him be.
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BFN
Reg. Sep 2015
Posted 2019-01-24 10:51 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue


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I personally don't ask my horses to "walk up" the alley flat footed. The horses are ready to run and anticipating it and I feel it is easier on them to start back further and let them go a little faster than a walk to the alley.... but it does all depend on the horse I am riding. But generally, I go from a trot to a lope to letting the horse run... or with the calmer horses, I will slow lope up to the point in the alley where I want to let the horse run from.

I also believe that it is easier on the horses physically if they build up speed vs going from a walk to a dead run. Just my opinion.
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Bear
Reg. Dec 2007
Posted 2019-01-24 10:53 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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I have a few thoughts, but first I have a couple questions:

1.) What is your method/routine for warming up?
2.) When you are waiting to run, where do you position yourself? Do you stand back in the corner of the warmup area? By the alley? Outside of the arena?
3.) Would you say your horse is real “sensitive” or hyper reactive?
4.) How would you describe YOURSELF, as a rider, in anticipating a run? Do you get anxious/nervous? Do you feel your heart pounding, etc...?
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ready2rodeo
Reg. Jan 2009
Posted 2019-01-24 11:26 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue


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1) Just normal warm up, I long trot and lope him. Then go back and forth from walking and standing quiet somewhere.
2) As far as waiting to run it all depends on where I'm at. Usually but for the most part I will stay kinda to the back of the warm up area or the side of the arena. I try not to sit like right net to the alley unless there is no way around it.
3) As far as him, no hes not sensitive really I wouldn't say or hyper active. Aware yes, very aware.
4) As far as me, I'm a very calm rider. yes I am competitive so I get some adrenaline going when I am ready, but I try to keep my heart rate as easy and level as possible for this reason.
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ready2rodeo
Reg. Jan 2009
Posted 2019-01-24 11:28 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue


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BFN - 2019-01-24 10:51 AM

I personally don't ask my horses to "walk up" the alley flat footed. The horses are ready to run and anticipating it and I feel it is easier on them to start back further and let them go a little faster than a walk to the alley.... but it does all depend on the horse I am riding. But generally, I go from a trot to a lope to letting the horse run... or with the calmer horses, I will slow lope up to the point in the alley where I want to let the horse run from.

I also believe that it is easier on the horses physically if they build up speed vs going from a walk to a dead run. Just my opinion.

I totally get what you are saying, and maybe when I said walk up I didn't phrase it right. Because you are right as far as gathering up speed. But with him it is a big ol eff ya and off we go!! lol.
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FLITASTIC
Reg. Jun 2012
Posted 2019-01-24 11:28 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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Does the horse smoke the pattern??? If so, I would just leave them alone. Maybe pony to warm up off another horse, saddle up and get on about one drag before you run.
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MOGirl07
Reg. Feb 2012
Posted 2019-01-24 11:40 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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So if you are in a holding pen, what would you do? What would he do? Is he still charging the alley or is it just as soon as you ask him to move when it's your turn?
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OhMax
Reg. Feb 2013
Posted 2019-01-24 11:42 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue


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When you had him gone over did you include a scope for bleeding?

I ask because it can be such a funny thing. I have heard of bleeders behaving this way at the gate on occasion - they want to work, they love their job, but the anxiety of bleeding can also make them want to just get it over with. I never think it’s a bad thing to rule it out in general.

I would work on a clear cue. At home in the arena or pasture - if your hand is down on her neck that’s her cue to walk. Flat footed, not allowed to go any faster, period. And then you need to come up with a clear “go” cue. And train it. Work on it. Right now I’m asking you to walk, now I’m asking you to go fast. Make sure she understands and responds, the same you would train any other cue.

Generally mine will walk if I’m one handed and my hand is down on their neck, I’m relaxed and breathing (breathing is important!). If I pick up both reins but my upper body and seat are still back and upright, we trot - doesn’t mean it’s a soft trot, if we’re in an alley we’re on the muscle. When my hands and upper body go forward we go.

It’s not perfect, some situations are different. If there’s no holding pen and it’s a wide open “back 40” to the arena - I know I better have someone walk us in or walk with us on a horse. But by the same token I’ve also handled those situations without someone there when I was at the top of the drag and positioned myself accordingly while the tractor was running, dropped the reins and stood there until they opened the gate, turned and off we went.

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ready2rodeo
Reg. Jan 2009
Posted 2019-01-24 11:53 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue


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MOGirl07 - 2019-01-24 11:40 AM

So if you are in a holding pen, what would you do? What would he do? Is he still charging the alley or is it just as soon as you ask him to move when it's your turn?

He is a cool as ice. Its only when I go to go in when its my turn
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ready2rodeo
Reg. Jan 2009
Posted 2019-01-24 11:58 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue


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FLITASTIC - 2019-01-24 11:28 AM

Does the horse smoke the pattern??? If so, I would just leave them alone. Maybe pony to warm up off another horse, saddle up and get on about one drag before you run.

Yes supper nice. But that is also a thought. I have just stood next him, and that woks little. But he still does it going in.
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MOGirl07
Reg. Feb 2012
Posted 2019-01-24 12:00 PM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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ready2rodeo - 2019-01-24 11:53 AM

MOGirl07 - 2019-01-24 11:40 AM

So if you are in a holding pen, what would you do? What would he do? Is he still charging the alley or is it just as soon as you ask him to move when it's your turn?

He is a cool as ice. Its only when I go to go in when its my turn

So, could you stand close ish to the entry to the alley and him still be chill? That way at least you are close when you cue him to go. If so, and he is working well for you, I may let it go.
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bbennington
Reg. Nov 2009
Posted 2019-01-24 1:33 PM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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My horse is similar to this. If I try to hold him back he will pop up. He is 18 years old and I’m not going to change him. What work best for us is to have a routine that I do the same every time. I get him warmed up, then get off , hand walk him while I’m waiting for my turn, once the horse before me goes in I stop kind of by entry To the alley, get on, put my rubber bands on and take a deep breathe and off we go. He is the type that hunts the barrels so that’s never an issue for me, the more speed he has the better.

He isn’t the first horse I have rode like this and find it easier sometimes not to pick at them as long as they do their job.
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ready2rodeo
Reg. Jan 2009
Posted 2019-01-24 3:21 PM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue


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bbennington - 2019-01-24 1:33 PM

My horse is similar to this. If I try to hold him back he will pop up. He is 18 years old and I’m not going to change him. What work best for us is to have a routine that I do the same every time. I get him warmed up, then get off , hand walk him while I’m waiting for my turn, once the horse before me goes in I stop kind of by entry To the alley, get on, put my rubber bands on and take a deep breathe and off we go. He is the type that hunts the barrels so that’s never an issue for me, the more speed he has the better.

He isn’t the first horse I have rode like this and find it easier sometimes not to pick at them as long as they do their job.

This I might have to try. Like I said I have gotten off of him and just stood, but not over by like where I would be going in. Loving the responses!! Giving me lots of good ideas and things to think about for sure to try!!
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SKM
Reg. Dec 2003
Posted 2019-01-24 3:59 PM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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My daughters mare is the same way. It started when she was 4. My daughter sort of created the beast. The first time it happened, I told her she needed to stop in NOW. The next time it happened, she needed to stop her, even if it meant blowing a run. Her response...she’s winning so that’s what matters. 6 years later...if she tries to complain about it, I just hold up my hand and remind her of how this was created. You aren’t stopping this mare when she breaks now. And if you did, you’d take all the try out of her and scare her. She’s extremely timid and aggressive at the same time.

My daughter tries to stay one handed as long as possible. You go two handed, the mare breaks. Side gates are a challenge. Try to keep her nose, and eyes, cocked towards the fence. The second she’s sort of facing the pattern, she breaks. The pickup men at rodeos are her best friends. She won’t break as quick if a pickup horse is in the alley with her. But my daughter has also almost gotten tangled up in their ropes on the saddle too. It is frustrating.

You just try and be smarter than the anything you are dealing with.

https://www.facebook.com/GrcRunningQuarterHorses/videos/141317250874...

Edited by SKM 2019-01-24 4:02 PM
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MC1993
Reg. Mar 2013
Posted 2019-01-25 6:52 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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I have the same problem. I will however take this issue rather then a horse that refuses. We mostly rodeo so I usually have my boyfriend stand beside us on his hazing horse and will "pony" us up 3/4 up the alley depending on the set up. He stays on my right(runs right first) to keep her calm.
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geronabean
Reg. Sep 2003
Posted 2019-01-25 7:59 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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They can feel the anticipation within your body. They get used to routines. Change up your routine, change up yourself. If you stand then walk circles, if you walk then stand. If you enter on the right then enter on the left. You can back in if needed. You have to find a way to change your anticipation also. Get off and stand. Deep breathing for a while. Try anyway to keep the adrenaline to a low.
Sometimes scoring is the worst for this kind of horse. If you score then quit. Show up to the arena in time to run. He's sitting thinking about his run, keep his mind occupied on something else before your run.
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fulltiltfilly
Reg. Dec 2008
Posted 2019-01-25 9:17 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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My mare kind of does the same. My routine is to long trot her, then I get off and stand with her away from the arena. At the end of the drag before mine, I get on and go to the holding pen. She can be a little wound up but I can normally get her to stand until our turn.  She can get pretty amped up tho.
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barrelracer1983
Reg. Nov 2003
Posted 2019-01-25 11:38 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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OhMax - 2019-01-24 9:42 AM

When you had him gone over did you include a scope for bleeding?

I ask because it can be such a funny thing. I have heard of bleeders behaving this way at the gate on occasion - they want to work, they love their job, but the anxiety of bleeding can also make them want to just get it over with. I never think it’s a bad thing to rule it out in general.

I would work on a clear cue. At home in the arena or pasture - if your hand is down on her neck that’s her cue to walk. Flat footed, not allowed to go any faster, period. And then you need to come up with a clear “go” cue. And train it. Work on it. Right now I’m asking you to walk, now I’m asking you to go fast. Make sure she understands and responds, the same you would train any other cue.

Generally mine will walk if I’m one handed and my hand is down on their neck, I’m relaxed and breathing (breathing is important!). If I pick up both reins but my upper body and seat are still back and upright, we trot - doesn’t mean it’s a soft trot, if we’re in an alley we’re on the muscle. When my hands and upper body go forward we go.

It’s not perfect, some situations are different. If there’s no holding pen and it’s a wide open “back 40” to the arena - I know I better have someone walk us in or walk with us on a horse. But by the same token I’ve also handled those situations without someone there when I was at the top of the drag and positioned myself accordingly while the tractor was running, dropped the reins and stood there until they opened the gate, turned and off we went.


My run cue is two hands on the reins, similar to a steering wheel. If I'm not ready to pull the trigger yet, I'll sometimes have one hand on the rein and the other on their hip. As long they go in and run the pattern, I don't pick on them but I do like to score in the gate or at the first barrel.
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SC Wrangler
Reg. Jul 2004
Posted 2019-01-26 10:51 AM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue


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I would not take issue with a horse that is just wanting to get in the pen and do his job so long as the focus was there to get the job done.  I have ridden two awesome horses that came off the track that were hard to hold.  My system with each was warm them up away from the pen.  While waiting their turn I kept them back from the gate/alley and quiet as possible.  When I was up I would side pass them with their back to the gate until they were centered up, then turn and send them.  
Funny thing - one of those horses was ridden by a small child in his later years.  Took out a couple of adults who would try to lead him in.  Soon discovered that he would let that tiny eight year old hold him to anywhere until he was ready to send him.
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clover girl
Reg. Dec 2005
Posted 2019-01-30 7:46 PM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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My horse is the same way.  I hate that he acts like a "barrel horse" but he just loves his job now.  We can and will stop if I get after him (ex-tie down horse), but if I make him stop and behave it takes all the fire out of him.  He gets angry and won't run.  I can somewhat control him, but when he is feeling himself, it is easier just to hang on. 

My routine is a short warm up, and getting off and walking.  When I hop on and rubber band my over-n-under to my belt he becomes a beast. LOL  He got in a bad habit of rearing when I would hold him, but once I quit fighting with him we were good.

Just roll with her instead fo fighting. 
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chasendacash
Reg. Oct 2008
Posted 2019-02-03 11:42 PM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue


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I have one that does this.  The first two years I got her, every run made me wonder if THIS was the run that she just wasn't going in and would be DQ'd.  She'd go every way but forward, wouldn't walk in with another horse, wouldn't be led in, would lock up and not go period.  She never went up in the air so we worked on every way we knew to get her over this.  And it worked.  By the end of the 2nd year, she was charging the gate alley so hard that the corner posts were our first obstacle to get around.  She caught her hip, her back leg and almost me once and caught me off guard.  (My daughter rides her more than me.)  Just out of reflex, I shut her down.  Right there.  We try to warm her up by ponying her.  She's completely under control in the warm up but it just isn't fun.  She will sit in the holding pen or walk tiny circles, she'll walk up the alley 10 times in a row but she knows when it's real.  We try to keep her away until our drag, then at the back of the holding pen, reins loose, laying on her neck.  She'll stand there like that.  I pick them up when they call my name.   But I won't let her clear the deck just because she wants to go.  I like my kneecaps.  I'll let her be chargy, but I will hold her in until I'm ready.  If I have to stop her I will.  It only took a couple of times like this and she took it down a notch.  I try not to let her get so out of control so that I don't have to get it back.  It's so much more fun now that she is going forward that I want to let her go as long as we are both safe!
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streakysox
Reg. Jul 2008
Posted 2019-02-10 4:47 PM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue



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Just wondering what you do if you have to walk into the arena and wait for the gate to be closed before you start. How do you handle a chargy horse under those conditions especially if you have multiple runs?
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readytorodeo
Reg. Dec 2005
Posted 2019-02-10 5:28 PM
Subject: RE: Alley Issue


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Have you tried giving him something like Maalox before you run? It could be his stomach is burning. And Maalox will Coat his stomach and help with the acid. 60 ccs before you get on him to warm up. If that helps you might try Zesterra the day before you go and each day you are there.
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