Catching my horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-27-2013, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wyoming, South Dakota
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Arrow Catching my horse

My father has always told me that the best way to catch a horse is to use grain. I am find out that you do not have to do this. I just recently bought a beautiful paint that I can just walk up and catch him. However I have another one that is very hard to catch and I do not know how to break him of this. Any suggestions please.
smcshuck is offline  
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-30-2013, 10:48 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

I like working with a bratty horse in a round (ish) small area, and if you can, it is great to be able to start in a small round pen and progress to bigger pens, but obviously that is not always possible. When your horse runs (or walks) away from you, slowly follow him just so he is in sight and you can motivate him to keep moving - if you are in a small area you may just need to stay in one spot. The trick is, don't let him slow down! Just keep him moving. Sometimes, if the horse is really bad, you may need to make him go at a gait higher than the one he moved away from you in - if he trotted away from you, make him canter. After a while, your horse while start tuning into you, flicking an ear back, chewing, etc. Once he starts listening to you more and wanting to stop, keep him going for a little bit, and then stop. Do note that if your horse is truly afraid, you need to work with him and build up his trust. A scared horse is just going to think you are chasing him and may panic, and will loose what little trust he may have in you. Good luck!

Once you catch him, put a halter on, give him a treat, scratch, or grooming (if he likes that), or even take him out for a graze. Do this as often as you can so he learns that not every catch is about work!

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-01-2013, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Western Australia
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I'm working a horse very similar to this who is impossible to catch in a large open paddock, specially with his mates. :/ Though I do find if I catch the other two and take them away he'll be waiting at the gate ready to be caught. Mind you what caseymyhorserocks is saying I may have to try so he does learn to be caught and that its not always for work.

~ Truth is... There are so many people out there who will tell you that you can't. What you've got to do is turn around and say "WATCH ME!" ~
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-01-2013, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by smcshuck View Post
My father has always told me that the best way to catch a horse is to use grain. I am find out that you do not have to do this. I just recently bought a beautiful paint that I can just walk up and catch him. However I have another one that is very hard to catch and I do not know how to break him of this. Any suggestions please.
Whenever I hear those types of issues, it always brings me back to a colt I used to own. Cobalt was a pain in the behind! when I got him, for starters you could not get near him, and you couldnt halter him AND if you actually managed to get passed these 2 obstacles, you couldnt lead him because he knew if he pulled the rope out of your hand, he could take off.

I worked with him for 1 month, and by the time I was done with him, he came when called and would put his head in the halter himself. Here is what I did.

The key is to make your horse realize, that being caught is pretty awesome. So you will want to change his thinking on it. If he learns that being caught means awesomeness, then he will want to come to you to come hang out.

Find a buddy of his in the pasture who is easy to catch. Call them with grain and halter both of them(thats where you might have to do it from the other side of the good horse and sneak slowly a halter on) and feed grain right in the field they are in. Take both of them out and tie them somewhere, give a great groom, massage, more GRAIN(doesnt have to be much, just enough he gets the idea) and just let them enjoy life for 20-30 mins. Repeat for a few days(weeks if needed) until the difficult horse realizes that its pretty awesome. It only took my colt a few days of this.

Continue this, but slowly switch to only feeding grain once he's caught, to OUTSIDE the field they are in.

Slowly continue the routine with just the horse in question. No longer need to take his buddy, but continue with the groom, massage and grain.

Slowly continue WITHOUT the grain, with a good groom and a massage.

As you continue this, you can substitute the grain with every day living things you have to do with him.

I went thru this with a VERY LARGE colt who was extremely strong, that no one could catch. I will honestly say he was essentially wild. By the end of that month, he came when called, put his head in the halter and would come. Did not have to use treats, or anything to convince him to come.

Promoting the beautiful Canadian Horse
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