Cannot catch this horse.. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Cannot catch this horse..

My friend Amanda's gelding, Rocco, (both have been mentioned on my Jersey threads....they moved to Gayfields where Cowboy is..) is so hard to catch. Not to mention that Gayfields having such gigantic fields doesn't help much...hmmph.

We have tried everything from treats in a bucket, to having him follow the bucket into a pen, to everytime he trots away, push him into a canter.

Last time I caught him it took 30 minutes, with the help of my friend, and we finally got him into the little pen. Then it took a while for us to get near him again and I just quietly grabbed his head and Lexi handed me the halter, and I quickly slid it on.

It's almost like he's been beaten with the halter, because everytime he sees it, he will run. Don't get me wrong, after 30+ minutes, I'd like to beat him too! (Just kidding)

And when we finally catch him, he's absolutely fine, doesn't try and run away still, or spook, or anything.

I told Amanda to keep his halter on, but she keeps forgetting. Because when sometimes, you can get so close, that if his halter was on, you could grab him.

Yesterday I took 40 minutes trying to catch him, gave up after running around the field....rode Cowboy, went out to try again for another 10 minutes, and no luck.

It's especially hard when you're alone too! D:< And it's not like he will favor Amanda, and only let her catch him, we took 20 minutes to catch him one day too....

So please, any advice? Every time we go down, we dread having to catch him, and end up ripping our hair out..... -___-

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post #2 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 06:07 PM
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I would teach him to yield his hind and join up. I use this in the field when trying to catch hard horses. Once they learn the join up, when done properly, they will follow you. Usually I teach them once they are already caught in a smaller confined area. Once they follow you, its easy to get that halter on. This can actually be done on another horse too, so if it comes to that, use Cowboy to chase down the other one. Then get him to yield to you (he will follow cowboy), and then have someone ready with a halter. It works with practice and lots of patience.

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 06:08 PM
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Grabbing at the halter in an attempt to latch on in anticipation of him bolting is not a good idea, so I don't think that is a reason to leave the halter on - in fact, it is extremely dangerous to take that approach to catching.
The fact that you have "tried everything" is most likely a huge part of the problem. Training requires consistency - by throwing every idea you come up with at the problem, you only further confuse the situation and the horse.
Your friend needs to decide which approach she wants to use and then that is the method that needs to be used. You also need to be prepared for it to take a little longer now to have him catch on to the new plan because he is so confused by all the previous attempts - so what may have taken a week of consistency may now take two or three.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Lakota; I would try that but I think the BO would say something if I rode Cowboy in the field haha.

Macpack; I agree 100% with you. We're probably confusing poor Rocco, but it's not like we change it everytime. We first try the treats and bucket, and if he runs with push him more. If he happens to like the treats and shows interest, we make him follow us into the pen. So we pretty much use the same techniques over and over.

And I disagree with the halter idea. If we put the leadrope on his halter, if he tries and run, he can't so he will calm down. We actually did this at Robin's house and it worked fine.
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Last edited by lubylol; 02-20-2012 at 06:18 PM.
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by lubylol View Post
Lakota; I would try that but I think the BO would say something if I rode Cowboy in the field haha.
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Haha well it can be done without another horse, but its more tiring. I would suggest that, after you catch him, you work with him on yielding hind and following you when asked. Then, in a big open field, you can catch him a lot easier. It will make him more approachable in the big pasture. And yes, put a breakaway on that horse until he can be haltered easily. Teach him to come with the technique I mentioned and you will have an easier-to-catch horse in no time :)

Oh and another thing, I don't think he was beat, he just knows that halter=caught=work, so he doesn't like halters. lol

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **

Last edited by Lakotababii; 02-20-2012 at 06:20 PM.
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 06:22 PM
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here's an article about "walking down a horse", a good thing to learn how to do.

Walking Down a Horse
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Lakota; funny thing is...when we try to lunge him, he just follows maybe he's trying to be an over achiever! Just kidding, that's a whole 'nother issue lol.

And the sad part is, yesterday all I was going to do was put his blanky on :(

OH and I forgot to mention, the BO feeds him out in the field now because she could never catch him to let him eat..

And tiny, I'll read that right now!
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 06:43 PM
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The halflinger I am leasing for my stepdaughter is a bear to catch also. This Saturday when I arrived I found her in the back 40 - the small paddock fence was purposely left open and she was out wandering with the other mares.

Sooooooo, I tried the grain bucket. But all she did was dance around the bucket.

She trotted away from me and sadly to say, I waved my arms and yelled (yes in frustration). Which made her trot faster. So, I thought, FINE. You want to run around, I'll let you run.

I circled the end of the lead rope in the air as I followed her around the pasture until I could get her back into her paddock area. Then, when she still wouldn't let me catch her, I loped her butt around this smaller area.

Within 10 minutes she was breathing hard and sweating, but didn't dare budge as I haltered her. (I should mention she is a cow of a halfie and pretty dang lazy).

I returned on Sunday and again, moved her from the pasture to the paddock (pretty easily) and this time she only moved once before I caught her again.

I plan on doing this until she holds firm when I approach. Of course, it helps that she is a cow and lazy.

I'm so spoiled. As soon as Sam sees me walk down the paddock alley, he stops what he is doing and makes his way to the gate.

I feel for your frustration. Good luck.
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-21-2012, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Well someone is coming to look at Rocco tomorrow...Amanda can't afford to keep him. I hope no one buys him so I can work with him more!
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-22-2012, 12:43 AM
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Honestly when I get a horse that wants to run from me, I MAKE THEM RUN. If they think that running from me trying to catch them means they will not have to work, then I make running from me more work than what it is worth. I have had some neglect case horses that were impossible to catch, taking 3 and 4 hours at a time to run down.

When I go out to the field I expect those horses to come to the gate and wait patiently on me to see what I am doing. Everyone I have right now will run towards me when they see me and wait at the gate patiently. When they run away from me, I chase them. Grab the lunge whip and I will chase them, even when they want to stop I will not let them. The idea is to keep them at a canter and not let them relax. If they do want to stop and stand patiently, relaxed, facing me or have their side to me(as long as they are looking at me and not away), I will drop the whip down (but keep it in your hand, pointing to the ground) take the halter and walk towards them. When I say standing patiently, I mean calm, licking their lips, head down patient. Not high headed and snorting. When they do this behavior they are thinking about what you are doing to them. If they move like they are going to run, I start to chase them again. Some horses this works in 10 minutes the first time, others it can take hours. I will do this everyday to them, again time spans for good results depend on the horse, but have done it for several weeks before I got the full desired results in some of the really bad ones I have had. Each one of the times that I ran the horse though, the time it took to get my hands on them was shorter.

Each time you go out too and do this, when you get him to stand and let you put your hands on him, just pet him for a minute and let him go. This also helps to let him know that just cause you want to catch him does not mean it will always mean work. This also works a whole lot better in a smaller paddock or pasture and means a lot less work from you running after him. I have not found a single horse this does not work on and in 99% of the cases I have dealt with that were not abuse/neglect, it took me less than 2 weeks to have the horse standing at the gate waiting on me when their name was yelled.

Really it is the same thing as the walking down method. Be careful of the angle you approach the horse at and be mindful of your attitude and posture. If your tense and mad at the horse, the horse will be tense and upset and most likely run again.

You know how to make a miniature horse even smaller? Leave them in the dryer a little longer!
"Don't ever regret something that once made you smile"

Last edited by minihorse927; 02-22-2012 at 12:49 AM.
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