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bad behavior related to catching and leading a horse

This is a discussion on bad behavior related to catching and leading a horse within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        04-30-2013, 02:03 PM
      #11
    Super Moderator
    I think you are correct in thinking that 'working the crap out of him' is counterproductive.
    The horse is not stupid so why would he want to be caught and work like crazy?

    As a child I was taught that when a horse comes into a stable there should always be something there for him to eat. In the case of the riding school ponies it was hay only after they were brushed off did they get a feed. It worked because they were always good to catch yet they knew that they would work if they were brought in.
    I am still much the same today. When the horses come in there is hay waiting for them, sometimes a carrot in their manger. They will often come in loose and walk into their own stable. First thing they do is look in their manger to see if the carrot fairy has called!
    I do not give them anything for coming to me in the field.

    I think you have had to be tough on this horse (not criticising) but perhaps now it is time to loosen the boundaries.
    I would have a long rope and do as Cherry says, clip the rope onto the headpiece ring on the off side, thread it through the noseband on each side and lead him in from that. Wear gloves and have a long rope that if he does try to take off you can hold him. When he stops do not punish but carry on as if nothing has happened.

    Sometimes 'energetic' horses are that way because they are unsure. I would give him a carrot in his manger when you bring him in. Stop with the round pen, take him out of the arena on a regular basis and just go for some long walking rides so he can learn to totally relax.
    Catch him, bring him in and turn him back out. Get him so that he is not worried about having the crap worked out of him and learns to relax with a rider.
    Beling likes this.
         
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        04-30-2013, 02:52 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    When my horse is hard to catch, one of 2 things: either I worked them too hard previously, or, in the case of one horse, she knows she's going to be trailered somewhere. (She doesn't mind going in the trailer at all, if she knows we're not actually going to go anywhere.)

    In the first case, I make a note of the workout, and try to figure out where it went wrong. Sometimes it's just plain boredom. But it's easy to fix, and my horses generally enjoy being ridden, even ridden hard, if it's interesting. (Like quadrille)

    In the second case, well, I'm still working on it. I just keep walking, endure it. . .wait for her to tire, basicly. I keep the pressure on until she stops running, relax a bit when she stops, then advance again. It's gotten to where I can bring her in, groom, and she doesn't get the anxiety attack until right before loading. I let her loose, don't even go after her. It used to take about 20 minutes of running; we've gotten it down to about 5-10 minutes. She is then actually looking to me to catch her, so she can rest.
         
        04-30-2013, 04:29 PM
      #13
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by diat150    
    .... but Im not sure if that is helping correct these two issues that have come up, it may be counterproductive, but he is a very energetic horse and the work in the round pen seems to keep him in line.
    I definitely don't think that working him hard after he's been caught is going to help you in any way with what he's been doing. All it's confirming to him, is that getting caught sucks, because it means he's going to be worked hard.

    I have a yearling Canadian colt who was a jerk to keep in PG13, and he was IMPOSSIBLE to catch or even get near of.

    What you need to do is change is attitude about what being caught means. You need to go back to the start for a month or two, and re-teach him that spending time with you is going to be a blast, it's going to mean quality time, it's going to mean bonding time.

    There is a post somewhere out there I wrote a few years ago on this forum for someone else who was also going thru the same thing you're going thru but I don't have the courage to go search for it. Feel free to go dig it up.

    Start off catching him(no matter how long it takes to catch him-I realize that's part of your issue)and taking him out simply to feed him and give him a good brush. The next day catch him and take out for a walk and find a green patch of grass and just spend time with him. Your routine needs to initially involve something for him like grain and feeding.

    The goal of all this, is to change the way he sees you. He will learn that you're a friend, that he gets to spend time with you-that this does not mean a hard workout and a time that is going to be spent in frustration and anger. The second he realizes that you mean friendship, you can start removing food out of the equation. I did this with my guy for a week and removed the feed completely and replaced it with a good groom. I had my colt go from being a jerk and uncatchable, to him coming to the gate and placing his head in the halter himself.

    I recently worked and sold a mare who you also could not catch, and went thru the same process. By the time I was done with her, she would come halter herself and I could lead her to the barn without a lead. Feel free to message me if you have trouble.
         

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