Catching Issues - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By WildAtHeart
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-10-2014, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Burns, Oregon
Posts: 17
• Horses: 3
Lightbulb Catching Issues

I just got 2 new horses about a week ago. One from my neighbor and one from the wife of a co worker. Shilo, the one I got from me neighbor came home with me o the second and had already built a relationship with my made Pepsi because they lived just over the fence. Jesse came home with me on the third. The next day my mom picked Pepsi up ad took her to her house to eat down some extra grass and I moved Shilo and Jesse into the coral to work on being caught since they both had a bad habit of running away every time someone approached them. Shilo is doing great but Jesse hasn't seemed to be making much progress and she shies at every movement of the halter rope, even if its just blowing in the breeze or I am looping it over her neck. So far I am keeping my patience but I'm afraid it will start to wear thin soon since I am running out of ideas to try. Does anyone have anything to try to help me teach her? How about pointers to help me keep my patience? So far I have been working her at liberty around the coral until she shows signs of wanting to come to me, then I take off the pressure and give a voice command along with a hand gesture. When I approach her I walk slowly and stop and turn away if she faces me. If she walks away I walk with her at the same distance and try to keep at her shoulder. Every second or third time she let's me catch her I give her a treat along with the usual pat on the neck.
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-10-2014, 09:00 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
Posts: 3,440
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When approaching her, do it without the thought of catching her. Do as you are already doing but once she let's you near, walk away. The next time, just rub the rope and halter on her. Next time, walk away again. Next time put the halter on, give her a treat, remove the halter and walk away. Keep changing it up.

Plan on catching her to take some time, as much as it takes. When you are in a hurry or rush, it takes longer.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-10-2014, 09:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,193
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Whatever you do around this horse, do it with confidence. If you don't, in her mind you've confirmed her suspicions that she should be nervous. If you look on HF, I've explained how to correctly walk down a horse. It's rather lengthy so I'd rather not have to type it out again. I will say this, you are approaching the wrong end.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-10-2014, 10:09 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
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I agree with the others, but as for when you are in the coral working her, do you wait for her to submit and want to come in, or do you just wait until she looks like she's starting to show signs, let her stop and approach her?
The idea is not only to make her approach you but to also learn not to walk away.
So when she starts to walk away again, don't just follow at her shoulder until she decides to stop. Force her on again until she no longer walks away.
also, she must be exhibiting true signs of submission before you allow her the chance to come in for relief. Head down, blowing hot through her nostrils, ear on you and licking her lips.
This sort of technique can take a few sessions and hours, depending on the horse.
The other way is much slower and that is to simply go out every day or as often as possibly with your rope, brushes and even treats and just spend time being around her until she grows comfortable with you.
It may help to remove the other horse as well.
No matter what, with any horse, never go out with the soul intention of working them every time. Some horses are incredibly sensitive to this and therefor become hard to catch because they've learned to associate the rope with something bad. Just go out every so often just to catch them, lead them a few feet and turn them loose or spend time brushing or taking them out to grass.
It's impossible to unsour a horse if you continue to practice the same things that soured them in the first place ;)

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-10-2014, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Burns, Oregon
Posts: 17
• Horses: 3
I've been working her alone. And I only actually catch her about once out of every 5 times I approach. And even when I do catch her we haven't done anything more than getting brushed and turned loose again. Half the time shell walk up to me after some moving but the other half she either runs away or stands there and licks her lips and stares at me. That's when I try and walk up to her, and she either walks off or flinches when I raise me hand to pet her or give a treat
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-12-2014, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Canada eh?
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If she is afraid of the halter don't put it on every time you go to her. Of course, at some point she has to get over this fear. But for right now you don't want to teach her that you coming means "scary halter" will eat her face.

Just try approaching her and giving her a scratch. Remember that once she is doing what you want, (standing still) you should retreat. At first only expect a little from her. Each time expect a little more. But remember to always back off before she does.

Then start introducing the halter. First just have it over your shoulder while patting her. Then pat her with it in your hand. If you tries to move when it touches her try to keep it touching her there. Be relaxed and talk to her. The absolute second she stands still take the halter away.

For having patience try to have two things in mind. First, "This can take as long as it will take. I have all day." This will keep you from having a rushed or frustrated energy which your horse will pick up on. Second thing to have in mind is, "We will make progress each day. No matter how small. We can do this." This means that even if the horse seems 10 times worse than the day before your goal should always be to make progress from the stage she is at at the beginning of your session. Also always end on a good note. Some days she will just blow your socks off with her progress and some days you will have to work to get her to where she was last week. Just remember that she will have bad days too, and you are working with her not against her.

If you feel yourself start to get frustrated (because we all do) take a breathe, deep deep breathe. Also talk it through. I talk out loud all the time when working with horses. You'll hear me saying things like, "Nope, that's not what I want. This way...come on...think about it. Good girl!" and so on.

Anyway I have blabbered long enough! Good luck =)

Hold On To What You Love. When It Tries To Buck You Off Hold On Even Tighter!

Last edited by WildAtHeart; 05-12-2014 at 11:04 AM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-12-2014, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Canada eh?
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Oh! A tip fro approaching her. Don't beeline for her, don't look right at her. Look at the ground, be relaxed.
And walk to her in the following pattern:
Imagine a zig-zag that is wide at one end and gradually gets narrower. You are at the wide end and she is at the narrow end. Mosey back and forth until you come to her.
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Hold On To What You Love. When It Tries To Buck You Off Hold On Even Tighter!
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-12-2014, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by WildAtHeart View Post
Oh! A tip fro approaching her. Don't beeline for her, don't look right at her. Look at the ground, be relaxed.
And walk to her in the following pattern:
Imagine a zig-zag that is wide at one end and gradually gets narrower. You are at the wide end and she is at the narrow end. Mosey back and forth until you come to her.
This statement is very true! That horse is watching you every second even when she doesn't seem to be.
To add to the above great advice, as you stroll (slowly) towards her, hide the halter and/or lead behind your back. Turn your shoulders away from her as you casually and calmly get closer.
Carry peppermints but leave them in the wrapper and roll them around your hand so that she hears the crackling. Use the words "treaty time" everytime and often. Yes, they really can learn that word although all of this is going to take time.
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