Catching and Bonding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Catching and Bonding

We got our 3 yr old quarter horse Mare Sophie 2 months ago. She knew nothing when we got her, she had never been worked with at all not even Halter Broke, I go out and work with her pretty much every day, She has picked up Free Lunging really well n responds to signals pretty well, we have recently taught her to lead and we're working on the grooming thing with her. Our main problem right now i guess is that I have the hardest time catching her and she never just is curious and walks up to us to see what we're all bout or doing really. Iv done the whole making her run thing if she dont want to stand still for me to catch her but she has alot of stamina and never seems to get tired enough to stand still! She's not running like she's scared or nervous she's just running relaxed like shes doing it just to spite me!!
What can i do that will make it easier to catch her?
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 09:32 PM
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When you go out to see her just stand somewhere untill she finally get curious and wants to see what ur up to. It might take a long time but she should start to wonder what ur doing just standing there.

Or.. I'd just go out there and pet her and feed her, make her want to be with you.. try just doing there to do other things then just working her. It might make her more interested in you.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 10:35 PM
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I had this problem with my horse, but she has MAJOR trust issues, so what i did was go out to the paddock everyday, and for the first few days i brought a treat out with me. and she eventually got to trust me, and now it is way easier to catch her.

just dont give treats every time, because your horse will learn to expect them and may nibble or nip at you.

also, when you go out to the paddock to get your horse, he/she may think 'oh no! its work time!' so just catching your horse and then letting them graze for about 10-15 minutes, and then brushing them up and putting them back will help with that.

Good luck though! =)
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-01-2009, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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The last lil while we have just been leadin her a bit and grooming her trying to get her use to that we havnt really been working her just rubbing on her n trying to let her get use to brushes and things like that. She does well for the most part but yesterday when i tried I couldnt catch her for nothin, could the new male horse in the poddock next to their pasture have something to do with her being complicated? He is either a cript orchide or is newly gelded we think because he still has stallion tendencies
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-01-2009, 06:58 AM
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If your mare is in season, it's a possibility that the "gelding" next to you is a problem. What I do with a horse that is a problem is to put the horse in a smaller paddock or a round pen to work with him. I always have a halter and lead (I use a rope halter combo) on my shoulder so that the horse comes to see the halter and me as a single unit.

I'll use the chase and retreat method or the "sit in a chair with a book" method, depending on the horse. I will whistle to the horse as I approach him so that he becomes accustomed to the whistle as a good thing. What I do when he finally allows me to touch him is to pet him, maybe give him a treat, then just walk away. I'll do this several times in a session. In the next session, I'll put the halter on him, stroke him, lead him a little, then release him.

I keep this up until the horse will come to me when I whistle. (Incidentally, I use the same whistle when it's feeding time). This may take several days or a week but with time and patience, it will happen.

One of my horses, Charlie, is a 20 year old Arabian who came to me with major trust issues. It took all autumn and much of the winter but he came around. He now comes to me just on sight.

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post #6 of 10 Old 04-01-2009, 11:42 AM
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good answer iride. I had the same exact same problem with my horse...but its gotten a lot better. I tried the sending him away thing too, but I tried it in to large of a pasture and ended up teaching him that he is way faster than me and that it was really fun to show me everytime I came out with halter and lead rope lol. I really found that it was a combination of things that really improved the situation for me. The first iride carry your halter and lead rope with you all the time....especially when you are bringing treats and feeding. Also...and I dont know if this applys to you...but when I went in the pasture to get him, I used to approach him in a cautious way (knowing he was gonna walk off) and when I go in to feed or for something else its always with purpose (the opposite of cautious). It helped me tremendously once I realized what I was doing. If your body language looks like your up to something...your horse is gonna know it. I personally love to give Major treats too...but only after he's caught. When I first started out though...I had to leave the halter on him and I would kind of bribe him with the treat....then once I had him by the halter, I gave him the treat. I know a lot of people are against the whole bribery thing...but for me, it was the most effective tool to catch him so that I could teach him to trust me without the bribery. I did have to do a little experimenting with the treats....Major wasnt crazy about the carrots I first tried....but he loves apples. I personally dont think it matters wich method you use as long as you find what works for you and your horse. I think the key is that you train them to be caught just like you would train them for anything else. Be willing to spend the time it takes to really train them. It took me a long time to get that in my head and so it was really really difficult for me. I'm sorry for the long winded post...but catching Major for me in the begining was soooo difficult and so I have learned a lot. I actually got to the point that I dreaded even going to the pasture at all because he was so difficult about being caught. I love to go now!!!! hope this helps!!!!!

One last thought too lol. If you go to catch him.....make sure you do...even if it takes all day. Everytime you try and dont catch your horse...the next time you try it will be a little harder

Last edited by sandy2u1; 04-01-2009 at 11:45 AM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-01-2009, 02:45 PM
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Maybe go in with your lead line, and a treat, when she allows you to get up to her, pet her, and just hook it on for a moment, and than pat her and let her go. Go out 1/2 h later, and do the same thing. Should work, maybe :).

you can start with nothing, and out of nothing or no way, a way will be provided.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-01-2009, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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We have a ctach rope on her right now thinking maybe that would help with catching her but do ya'll think its a better idea to take that off and just let her get use to coming up to us?
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-01-2009, 10:59 PM
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I really like the approach and retreat methods! Iride did a nice job of explaining.

One other thing I do after I work a horse is leave them tied up for a while. It lets them reflect on the session and teaches them patience. It also prevents barn sourness. But anyways I think they forget that they were worked or something and my gelding always is willing for me to catch him since I have been doing this.

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post #10 of 10 Old 04-03-2009, 10:56 PM
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When you go out to get her, don't look her in the eye, but more toward her shoulder. Keep your hands to your sides and approach slowly, as non-threateningly as possible. If she appears nervous or even backs away, just stop and stand there until she relaxes again. When you do catch her, spend time doing things that she likes to do. Take her for a roll in the arena, grazing, grooming her itchy spots. My horses particularly like their playtime in the front pasture where the grass is thicker and juicier, and there's more room to run around. You have to balance it out with her work, so that she learns to associate you with positive things. Rub her down and give her treats after a ride. Above all, never give her any reason not to trust you. Grooming is one of the best things you can do to bond with your horse. :)

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