Catching problems - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By toto
  • 1 Post By Blazeeofglory
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-26-2013, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 242
• Horses: 3
Catching problems

Hi all!
I'm at the end of my rope right now. I cannot catch my mare, today I had to catch all the other horses, tie them to the trailer, call my sister and have her help me catch her.

Even if I go catch my gelding (no attention on her at all) soon as I get close to the herd she takes off at a gallop to the other side of the pasture and starts grazing there. I've tried just following her but I end up getting tired way to quickly since they are on 40 acres. Thankfully my gelding has not picked the habit up, but my sister's filly has started doing it as well so I took my mare away and brought her up to the 50 acre lot by my house (it has a round pen, corral, shelter)

As soon as she is on this lot by herself, she is perfect. Will come right to you, follow you around without a halter, shove her head in a halter. She will come when called up here too.

Any suggestions?


Never forgot the horse that taught you to be fearless (Braveheart RIP) the horse that taught you to stay strong no matter how bumpy the road is (Caesar) and the horse that always had to test gravity by throwing you in the air (Cali)
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-26-2013, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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My trainer always told me that the best thing to do when they walk away from you is to chase them away. If they want to run-let them. Eventually they will get tired of running away and let you catch them.

Though this doesn't work for all horses, you could try that.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-26-2013, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Montana
Posts: 2,162
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Here are some tips.
#1. She is a mare. With every mare we have had - she always runs away and makes the other horses run as well. My horse Brisco is boarded with a mare - every time I go to catch him she makes him run, but I have done a lot of practice with this and now she backs up when I walk up to Brisco.
But when my geldings are not in a pasture with a mare - they walk up to me. So it is also a mare thing they do, haha!

But what I do, is I follow them and copy them.
So when they run, I run with them and try to separate the horse I want at the same time. But when they stop, so do I. I wait a few seconds before slowly walking forward - my body posture all slumped down and walking at an angle towards them, to let them know that I mean no harm.
If the horse I want takes a step froward, I will stop and take a step forward, copying their front legs. If she takes another step forward, so will I - copying his movements. If he walks backwards, I will also walk backwards.
After a few seconds of stillness, I will slowly begin walking forward again towards the horse, stopping every now and then to see if they will come to me or if I need to keep walking. But once I am within three or four feet of them, I stop. If the horse doesn't walk forward to me, I will hold my hand out. Usually my horses will come by this time. But if they still don't walk forward - I know they won't move so I just walk up to them and catch them. All the other horses that follow me and my horse I chase away fro swing the rope at.

But with lots of going out to work with my horse - the mare has accepted me as the leader of the two. Usually she walks in front of him and makes him run. But now she stands beside him and I walk up to her. As I walk up to her, she walks backwards - allowing Brisco to come to me. But once I get within four or five feet now, then Brisco will walk right up to me.

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post #4 of 9 Old 07-26-2013, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: mountian back woods
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The chasing only works in a small pasture or arena and the goal is to get them to 'join up' with you like Bb.

Horses have peanut brains but they know when you catch them youre going to work them-- youll want to treat her at first- catch her put halter on treat her let her go catch her again treat let go repeat repeat repeat- when you do take her out of the pasture dont work her- brush her braid her mane (or what ever you do with your horse that aint work) then let her go on the days you dont ride.

You can substitute treats with petting or praise.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-26-2013, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Montana
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Yes. When you catch her and after she is out - let her enjoy the time being spent out by grazing and being brushed. You want her to look forward to something after you take her our of her home. Otherwise there is a bigger chance of her being even harder to catch. I agree with toto.

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post #6 of 9 Old 07-26-2013, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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I agree with you as well. We only have one mare that runs away from us. I believe this is because she used to be a cutting/reining ranch working horse. She associates being caught as " Oh darn, they are going to work me until I cant work no more". Even though this is not the case now, she was worked every day, so thats what she assumes is going to happen.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-26-2013, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Wyoming
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Thank you all for the suggestions!
I use to go out and catch her, groom her (or treat her, I mixed it up) and let her go. She didn't use to be this bad (took a max of 5 minutes and I would just copy her movements), but doing that never changed her. I would go out catch her, scratch her in her favorite places and let her go. She's been difficult to catch for the past year, this past month she has become near impossible. I also only ride her 2-3 times week

Never forgot the horse that taught you to be fearless (Braveheart RIP) the horse that taught you to stay strong no matter how bumpy the road is (Caesar) and the horse that always had to test gravity by throwing you in the air (Cali)
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-26-2013, 07:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Massachusetts
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This makes me so thankful my guy is so easy to catch. ..sorry. I remember going to lesson barns and trudging through mud to get horses that would run all the way to the other side of the field. If I knew then what I know now. Lol. I know not much help. My only advice is to bring treats?

RIP ~ Mr. Bass 06/09/1985-01/21/2015 my dearest friend
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-26-2013, 07:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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Call the horses to the nearest fence and scatter some grain on the ground well apart to keep them busy. Circle way around her and approach from behind. Don't look at her as you circle but at something much farther away. The come toward her and shoo her away. Be sure to stay out of the kick zone and use only as much energy as necessary to make her move. Horses don't like this. Circle around again and make her move. She may run off but just turn your back and she'll come back for the grain. The more you move her the more she will want to keep both eyes on you. When she does turn your back to her and walk away a few steps. If she doesn't follow your, move her again. Carry the halter and lead in your left elbow and don't try to hide them. When she does allow you to halter her, put it on, rub her forehead, remove it and turn your back to her and walk away 5 or 6 steps. Making her move puts a lot of pressure on her. Turning your back to her removes it. I promise you she will be licking and chewing when your back is turned.
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