Can't catch a horse in a round-pen
 
 

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Can't catch a horse in a round-pen

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  • Catching a horse for the first time
  • Cant catch horse in roundpen

 
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    04-20-2010, 03:41 PM
  #1
Foal
Can't catch a horse in a round-pen

A buddy of mine just bought a horse about a 5 hr drive from home. He went out and spent the weekend riding the horse and liked what he saw. Well he loaded up and brought the critter home. This was 4 weeks ago.

We haven't been able to catch the fella in his round pen to halter him. He behaved well at his former location, but for some reason, now he is being a bear. He won't come to treats or grain or anything if you have a halter/lead rope in your hands. He will come for affection and treats if you are outside of the round pen and do not have a halter/rope with you. He is a 7 yr old gelding. His buddy (purchased from the same farm at the same time) is in a pasture near him and we can tell he wants to join, but with him being this difficult in the round pen we fear we would never catch him in pasture.

I suppose it may be the case that he isn't well broke, but are there other things that could be causing anxiety? Simply the new location has him out of sorts? Nearby construction freaking him out? Is he trying to assert dominance? Other ideas?

Any ideas on things to try?
     
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    04-20-2010, 05:53 PM
  #2
Showing
If he were my horse, I would either run him into a smaller area like a stall or very small pen. If you don't have one of either of those, the simple answer is to rope him. But the more times that you go into the roundpen and try to catch him then give up and leave before you get him caught is making this behavior more solid and will make him that much harder to catch. He knows now that if he just runs and runs, you will eventually give up and leave him alone.
     
    04-20-2010, 05:59 PM
  #3
Banned
Funny but I had one like that last week. He was in a 60 foot round pen and refused to be caught. I just circled in the center and swung the end of the lead rope and got him running around the outside. I was determined he would run until he dropped but he was going to come to me. After about 10 minutes he tried turning in to me, I kept him going and the 3rd time he turned in to me I gave up. I just walked up to him, clipped the lead rope to his halter , told him he was a good boy and walked him into the barn.

Last night he went to pull the same crap but only made one round, one round and turned into me. I walked up and lead him away.

I would run his sorry butt until he dropped or turned in begging to be taken. In a round pen he hasn't a chance.
     
    04-20-2010, 06:09 PM
  #4
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiosDad    
Funny but I had one like that last week. He was in a 60 foot round pen and refused to be caught. I just circled in the center and swung the end of the lead rope and got him running around the outside. I was determined he would run until he dropped but he was going to come to me. After about 10 minutes he tried turning in to me, I kept him going and the 3rd time he turned in to me I gave up. I just walked up to him, clipped the lead rope to his halter , told him he was a good boy and walked him into the barn.

Last night he went to pull the same crap but only made one round, one round and turned into me. I walked up and lead him away.

I would run his sorry butt until he dropped or turned in begging to be taken. In a round pen he hasn't a chance.
For some reason, I find most people here disagree with chasing a horse that doesn't want to be caught, but it is really the easiest way to teach them, and I've never once had it backfire.

If he wants to run, then fine. Make him run. And the horse will think it's all fun and games for the first few minutes, but he's going to get tired and want to stop. Making him run takes the "game" away. Because now, he's working, not playing. So chase him, and watch for signs of submission; lowering his head, licking and chewing, keeping an ear on you, turning his head in, etc. Keep him going a little longer, then ask him to woah and go get him. If he goes to move away, even a STEP away from you, send him off again.

I also suggest doing changes or directions as well to get him really working off you. And like smrobs said, make sure you have time to chase him for two hours or more [it took my mare two hours the first time], because once you go in there, you HAVE to catch him, or it'll just make it worse.

And just for the record, I've done this with TONS of horses, and none of them have ever even looked away from me when I go to catch them. My mare now wouldn't dare turn her butt to me. Most of the time she will come to me. Sometimes she stands and waits, but she doesn't run away.
     
    04-20-2010, 06:18 PM
  #5
Yearling
I totally agree with riosdad. If he wants to be away from you, than make him run away, and keep making his butt run until his is begging to be taken.

Smrobs has a good point too, but if that's not an option, than do as riosdad suggested.

Either way, I would probably say I'd chose rios method because it has worked for me everytime, and plus, If I tried to run them into their stall, they would just head to the other arena which is the only way to get them in the barn in the first place, and to me, that wouldn't be as effective as making them run til they drop and give in to you.
     
    04-20-2010, 06:50 PM
  #6
Weanling
Agree 100%! Since he's already in the round pen anyway, run him down until he wants to drop. Great submission technique. But like everyone else has said, you HAVE to pursue it. Don't give up before the horse does, because he'll think he's getting away with being a brat and disrespectful. Its going to take some time, and just because it works this one time don't think that he'll be ready to be caught after that. Its going to take work and you'll probably have to do it multiple times until he gets the idea. Add some twist to it as you go on by adding a signiture or signal that you want to catch him. It can be as easy as calling his name or making a certain sound. This, over time, will aid in the catching out of a field, pasture, etc. Just like you train your dog to sit down when you say "sit", etc.
     
    04-20-2010, 09:00 PM
  #7
Weanling
Totally agree with all of you. Last night was an hour and a half round pen session. Everytime he backed away out he went again. He finally gave up, still isn't real easy to catch, but he's coming around. Some are just more stubborn than others.
     
    04-20-2010, 09:33 PM
  #8
Banned
The little bugger did it again tonight. We put him in the round pen to eat the grass. He gets 30 minutes and then I go out to bring him in. Well he decided it wasn't long enough and decided to run.
Well 5 minutes of him circling and I walking a slow circle in the center he suddenly just stopped and walked towards me. I just met him 1/2 way, clipped the lead on him and told him what a great boy he is.
     

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