Clear The Alley

    The alley way can be a hot spot for horses no matter what level of competition they are competing in. Sometimes horses begin to anticipate the run and can begin to get too excited. There are a few things you can do to help prevent this.

Spend time in the alley when you aren’t going to make a run. Arrive early and get your horse to stand quietly in the alley. Once they are relaxed, get off of them and then put them up. This will let them know that just because they are in the alley does not mean they have to run.

At the barrel races try to stay calm and quiet with your horse. Avoid pulling and fiddling with them unnecessarily which can make them irritated or nervous. Work on breathing, bending, and flexing your horse. If you do get nervous, then step off of your horse and hand walk them until the drag before your run. Always cool your horse off after your run and if possible try to get them back to the area they were the most nervous so you can reward them by getting off  in that spot.

If you know the alley issues are not caused by your nerves, always be sure to check your horse for health issues. If a horse suddenly has alley issues, there could be some type of soreness or discomfort happening. Stomach upset in horses is frequently the reason for a horse to be nervous at shows and in the alley. Stomach acid builds up in stressful situations and causes irritation to the stomach lining. Providing hay in the trailer ride to the race will help. MVP Gastro-Plex paste is a great product to use to soothe stomach aches. You give a 30cc dose which coats the stomach and provides probiotics to encourage a good environment in the stomach. Gastro-Plex paste can provide quick results and will help you identify if your alley issues are stomach related. Feeding a complete feed like Purina’s Ultium Gastric Care Performance Feed, which contains the product Outlast, helps serve as a great deterrent to stomach upset. Outlast can even be hand fed as a treat to help settle the stomach before running.

In the end, training and proper care will help you clear that alley and make a successful run over and over.

Teaching them to stand calmly in the alley helps to lower their stress levels.