catching a horse =/ - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 05-12-2008, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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catching a horse =/

OK my horse baby is sometimes good and sometimes isn't. If he is eating he might just stop and let you get him. But most of the time he starts galloping away! I bring him a carrot and he still doesn't even care. It will usually take me about 15 minutes to get him. Help please!
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-12-2008, 03:47 PM
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Lots and lots of ground work! When you are lunging your horse (either on a line or free lunging):

Work on your voice commands (walk, trot, lope, WHOA!). Once he is responding well to your commands (especially Whoa, I can't stress enough how important that word actually is), you can start using a cue. Every time you ask him to whoa, tap your leg (like you would to call a dog) and turn sideways to him. If he doesn't come (or attempt to come), work him some more. You may see chewing, ears flicking, lowering the head, licking - these are great signs that he is listening to you and starting to become submissive (remember you are the lead mare . Keep stopping and asking him to come to you. It takes TONS of patience, but work your way up to it. Even if he only takes 2 steps towards you at first, its a great start. However, do not stop lunging until he at least makes an effort to come to you - if you stop too early, he's going to learn he doesn't have to come to you when you ask. After several lunging sessions, you'll see a great improvement out in the field. But always do the come command whenever you lunge - horses are creatures of habit and have to be reminded constantly!

Anyway, hope this helps. I know it worked wonders on my mare!
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-12-2008, 03:48 PM
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We use jealousy to catch Dumas sometimes when he is being difficult. We take twister (who can always be caught) out and then Dumas becomes willing.

I have also chased Dumas around the pen untill he was simply tired of evading me.

Food bribery...sometimes it works and sometimes not.


I caught Dumas and released him several times a day one weekend. After catching him I took him out to graze in the tall grass for a couple of minutes then led him back to the pen and released him. Basically letting him know its OK to get caught. Sometimes he got to eat other times he just got a good scratch. It seemed to help change his mind. Now he at least is more willing even tho he's not always wanting to... it hasn't been like a dramatic change that he's like a dog waiting at the door. But its better than it was.

Hope this helps!

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20








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post #4 of 12 Old 05-12-2008, 05:30 PM
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Groundwork & lunging will DEFINITELY help you immensely. ;)

Success comes a [bit] at a time.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-12-2008, 07:17 PM
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If you have the option of putting him in a smaller enclosure for turnout, then I'd use it. Also, what worked for me was to make him run. I'm not saying chase him with a whip or scare him or anything but if he runs from you then keep him going, when he gets tired he'll stop, turn towards you and wait for you to catch him. I did it with one of mine and I had to force myself to be patient, it only took about a week, but each day, it took me about a half hour to catch him, I didnt need a whip becuase as soon as I got near him, he ran because he didnt want to be caught, so I would stand while her ran like a moron and then when he stopped, I'd walk towards him, he'd run again and it would go on until he gave up... he rarely runs now, once in a while he gets a bur up his.... and then I just follow... till he stops... now it takes less then ten minutes nad I don't have to lunge becuase he's wore himself out already! Teehee.... OR, you can bring everyone else in and hten he'llw ant to come int... but that doesnt really fix it.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-12-2008, 08:42 PM
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I'm a cookie giver. Vida gets a cookie with the halter, a cookie with the bit, a cookie when she stands still when I get on. I know it won't work for all horses but it worked for mine When I first got her she would run away from me when I walked out with a rope and halter. I spent a few weeks going out every day putting the halter on giving her a cookie and taking it back off. I approach from the side never the rear walking in a zig-zag pattern as I approach. If she ran off I took the pressure off by walking in the other direction. Then back to the zig zag to approach again. Once I got close enough to get a rope on her I gave her a cookie and let her go. Do that religously every day for 2 weeks and see if it helps.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-13-2008, 08:37 AM
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I was a big cookie giver but Blue started biting me, looking for cookies, he got to where he was biting my hands and my hips because my cookies were in my pockets... I still give treats but not like I used to...
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-13-2008, 08:51 AM
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We also had to back off on the cookies. Twister was starting to mug us! He wouldn't bite us but he would come up to us and "investigate" our hands and pockets he began to nudge us with his head. We had to nip it in the bud! When we bribe we use sweet feed and give it in the feeder.


I have also found that a catch rope works really well. The lead with a ring on one end to make a quick loop over the horses nose for a makeshift halter. I have also used just a normal lead but it doesn't work as well. Sometimes if we just grab and go they are easier to get a halter on after we have led them a little ways first.

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20








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post #9 of 12 Old 05-13-2008, 10:14 AM
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When we first got our 2 boys DB was afraid of everything and everybody. It would take 20 - 25 minutes of chasing him around a 2 acre pasture before he was just too tired to keep going. It was a good substitute for lunging. He's an old out of shape guy and I needed the exercise too! When we would finally get him on the lead we'd love on him and give him a wintergreen lifesaver or 2. After about a week of catch, reward and release, he started coming right up to us even if we didn't have the lifesaver!
Good Luck. They can be really stubborn but if your patient its worth it.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-13-2008, 03:13 PM
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Libra- how old is your horse? Groundwork is imperative. I do not bribe mine (No, I'm not downing anyone who does!) it's just a personal choice. I want my horses to WANT to be with me without expectations of getting food. (Lyons has great exercises for this as does Monty Roberts) Joining up exercises work well with a littel older horses but if he is a baby, I'm not so sure. That's a little out of my league!
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