My gelding is a bear to catch whenever I have a halter in my hand, so I just leave the halter at the gate and keep a thin leather shoelace tied loosely around his neck, and hold onto that to lead him to his halter. Since I've been doing that it has been very easy to catch him. Not that it fixed the problem- he'd probably still run off if I came up to him with a halter. . .
Yeah my mare does that too, it's very annoying! I usually end up bringing in the other 3 horses that are out with her, then she doesn't want to be alone and is easy to catch. But they're in a 5 acre field, luckily they are all mine or family members horses, not other boarders or something. But that's the fastest most effective way I've found, but still a pain. I hope someone comes up with something better. I've tried all the other suggestions already. Lol
I have always believed never to chase your horse. They then think its a game and they no very well that they are faster than you. I have this problem with my horse A.J but once caught he is very obedient. I Usualy show him his feed bowl and if that doesnt work I sit on the grass. Easier because there arre only my two horses in the feild. If there is quite afew horses bad idea. But when I sit on the grass he slowly walks up to me ( very cautously ). And I slowly put his halter on, give him a treat and off we walk. ( being very carefull to stand up slowly because he gets spooked easily ). Hope This Helps
I have a break away, 'field-safe' head collar. It may be that your horse runs away from you, so having a head collar may not be useful in that respect. But often a horse with a head collar on may give them a sense of being under control, so she may be able to caught easier.
I also make coming in time for my horse really exciting, I will call him and give him lots of praise when he comes. If he doesn't then I will walk up to him confidently and give him some fuss, then clip his collar on. After that we will walk by me fine (you said that your horse was great on the ground, so I assume this will be the case for you).
Give her lots of fuss when you bring her in, treats and hay also work well!
If she doesn't come in after all that and is being a real paint this is what I do: I put his head collar in a bucket of food and encourage him up to me. Usually when he puts his head in to eat he puts his nose through the nose band of the head collar! So I sneak the rest of it on and do it up and ta da!
I had this problem for awhile and realized that the horses would always come if I didn't have a rope or halter, but if I had a lead rope or halter in my hand they knew that they were going to have to do something so for a couple of weeks I carried a lead rope or halter with me no matter what I was doing in the field. If I was working on fence, feeding, or just giving some loving. When I would feed I make sure that I had it in plain view and let them get comfortable with me having it. Then I started putting halters on everybody before I brought out their feed. Then I would just take it off a hour or so later. It took a couple of days before they figured out that just because I have the halter didn't mean they was going to have to work. I still will halter and snap a lead rope on them at feeding time and just brush them while they eat. You have to keep them guessing. They are a quick study on routine.
Grr! Horses that don't like being caught is a pet peeve!I use grain or mint wrappers. I don't like having to wear my horse out before I ride it or give it two baths! I also don't want it to get hurt running around like a spaz. When I chased them it seemed to be like a game to them and they were always running away from me. As much as you don't want to give in and reward them for running away with grain they at least don't get the opportunity to when you bring the bucket out. After a while of doing this they should just get the hang of it. Hopefully that will help.
Have you tried just taking a brush and some treats out to the field? If you act like you have all day, it seems they come sooner. But if they keep running away, get one of the other horses to come to you and brush and love on it. I LOVE making my horses jealous. In the winter I wear a hoodie sweat shirt and stick the lead rope in it, when they come to me I start brushing them and slide the lead rope around their neck. Whalla I caught the horse and Im 5mins a head of schedule. But really the brush and treats and time works the best. My husbands horse hated to be caught, it was almost to the point of why bother, but I finally figured out that she had always associated the halter and lead to work and pain. So out came the carrots and a curry comb. She now comes running up as soon as she sees either one of us, however she still runs from everyone else, lol.
I'm not sure if it will come through right, but this is a picture that someone just sent me on e-mail. Its a pick of me with my 4 yr old QH FlitterBug (Bug). She was at a barn away from home turned out with several other horses, one notorioiusly hard to catch. We were doing a catching clinic that day and she was showing the proper "caught" horse.
Truly "catching" the horse has nothing to do with getting the halter on. Every one of my horses has eyes on me as soon as they see me walking to the barn and every one will walk up to me before I have to walk to them.
It has nothing to do with bribes or gimmicks, if you are worth working with, the horse will want to follow you.