Treatment Type: Training Techniques
Rated for: Thoroughbred x American Quarter Horse Cross
Laporte, Colorado, United States
Posted Jan. 30, 2019
I used the desensitization method to teach my horse to not be scared/spook which helps them not to balk. It's extremely frustrating when you're in the arena and your horse bulks at the corner, setting you both on edge.
This method requires patience, repetition, and time. Your horse isn't going to be desensitized after the first 30 min, sometimes it takes a full month of repeated and patient groundwork to get your horse de-spooked (as I like to call it).
Start out by simple ground work exercises in the arena. Bring a tarp in and have your horse grow accustomed to it. You can let he/she sniff it and then slowly and gently start to rub it on their body. Stopping here and there to let the horse sniff it again and see what you're doing. Then you can practice walking by the tarp, you can even do this before actually showing the horse the tarp. Walk by slowly and even stop and let them look and sniff at it, all the while letting them know there's nothing to be scared of in a calming voice. I could really go on and on about what methods to use and how to do so but I think your best option is to do some research for your self, watch videos, and read other peoples experience. That's how I learned to desensitize my horse and found through thorough studying and practice how best to do these methods.
Now that I'm done rambling I guess what I'm trying to say is that groundwork desensitization is extremely successful in keeping your horse from balking when riding.