Cant catch this one ...

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Cant catch this one ...

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  • Pony mare easy to catch in stall but outside forget it
  • Frustrated cant catch horse

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    07-07-2009, 07:07 PM
Cant catch this one ...

I was asked for my opinion an short of leaving a long leadshank on this mare while she is being turned out, I don't have a clue what other suggestions to offer.

This mare was purchased a few months ago by a friend of mine and the story was "the fellow that owned her before couldnt catch her and he got very frustrated and sold her."

My friend has been busy with work and has just left the mare outside with her herdmates but now she wants to start riding her and doing something with her

She absolutely, 100% refuses to be caught. You can shake grain buckets, stand there eating carrots in front of her, bring everyone else in and leave her out there alone (she will scream and pace and run around like crazy but wont come near you to be caught), you can withold food and water and go out every hour with a bucket of water and she will refuse to come near enough to be caught. After literally several hours of trying, the only option left is to open the gate (the paddocks join up to the barn via a fenced alleyway) and leave her stall door open and wait until she comes in on her own. Once she is in, she is fine. You can walk up to her in her stall, catch her, groom her, ride her, do whatever you want with her. In the field - forget it. What should take 2 minutes takes 2 hours unless you get everyone else in first and leave the gate open and let her come inside on her own. Which is a total PITA if you ONLY want her in to ride her and not the rest of them!

She doesnt have a round pen. Only 2 smaller paddocks (that are still quite large and not exactly workable as far as sending her around in there and making her work if she wont approach) and 2 very large ones. A round pen would be ideal, but it isnt an option at all

Who has any suggestions that perhaps we havent thought of?

I have never been faced with a horse that simply wont be caught no matter what and I am limited in what options and suggestions I can offer to her

Thanks everyone!
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    07-07-2009, 08:38 PM
You might find Parelli's DVD called Natural Attraction helpful.
    07-07-2009, 08:43 PM
Are you talking about something like a "catch strap" that you use on babies? That might work, but it can't be abything too long and it ALL has to be breakaway. Does she like peppermints??? Sometimes when you crinkle the wrapper the horses know what it is an they come to you. Just another treat idea instead of the ordinary carrot. Maybe try to get her used to liking peppermints and then give it a try. Just a thought. I am not a fan of making them run/work until they let you catch them. I think that that reinforces them wanting to run form you. Just my opinion... that is all I have. It is so frustrating when you can't catch them. Good luck!
    07-07-2009, 10:30 PM
Ahsisi - yes - that's what I thought might work in the same way it does for babies, but at least with the babies they hug close to Mom and you can kind of sneak around and grab the strap in the beginning. I don't think she lets you get to within 5-10 feet of her, from what I've been told.

She also likes food just fine. In her bucket or on the ground. She is apparently not food orientated enough to come and get it from your hand

Spirithorse - I'll mention that DVD to her - thank you!
    07-07-2009, 10:36 PM
Green Broke
Well, it would take a LOT of time and patience, but time and time again, I've heard of it working successfully.

Simply walk her down. Let the rest of the herd come in, and set aside a lengthy amount of time to just start following her. No running, no chasing, just walking. Feel free to have a bucket of oats with you, so when she does finally give in, she gets rewarded. For the first sessions, I would suggest not even catching her. If she allows you to get close enough to firmly grasp her halter, let her have a bite of oats and walk away.

I'm sure it sounds exhausting and daunting, but every time I hear of it, it works. Horses don't tend to have the patience to keep the "game" up longer then a few hours (if that), and ultimately it's showing them that they're being caught regardless, and hey, it's not always for work either!

Good luck.
    07-07-2009, 11:13 PM
Any way you could 'make' a smaller paddock/roundpen out of jumps or something?
    07-07-2009, 11:14 PM
MM - sounds like a heck of a good idea!

Thank you

Now in all honesty, I think the only thing that may completely thwart this plan of action is the fact that the mosquito's where she lives are the size of small cats and vicious little beggars to boot. If my friend is in a frenzy swatting the mozzies before they pick her up and carry her away, it wont project an aura of calmness as she is swearing and cursing as she follows this mare around and having a multitude of welts appear that you need to intensely itch as well wont add to the "calm" environment either!

But its the best suggestion I've heard so far - thanks again!
    07-07-2009, 11:28 PM
^ That is a really good idea.

Would it work getting people to 'tag team her'. Just thinking if you divide the paddock, you aren't going to have to be walking as far.
    07-07-2009, 11:32 PM
Have you googled "how to join up?"

How to Join Up With a Horse - wikiHow
    07-08-2009, 12:07 AM
Joshie's got it. Sounds like a pasture join up is in order. It works great. Takes a little longer than a regular join up, but it works WONDERS. I've done them myself several times - round pen is ALWAYS easier, but it will work. Just takes patience. Lots and lots of patience. That article Joshie put up was fairly accurate, but there is much to it. PM me if you want me to send you some more detailed info.

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