Hard To Catch Horse! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-04-2013, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Exclamation Hard To Catch Horse!

So I just bought this gelding named Geronimo and he is a two year old thoroughbred warm blood cross he has lived in the same field all his life until I got him. We put him straight into our indoor arena, he's never had grain but we put some in a bucket to try to coax him to come close. When I approach him he walks away no matter what we have in our hands. I have tried not looking at him in the eyes holding a bucket of grain out to him with out any sudden movements, also staying lower to the ground. Or just simply waiting for him to come, but he just never comes! I mean he's not aggressive he just walks away, and once you do have him on a lead he is fine (for a two year old). Also asked for suggestions from previous owner but honestly the guy had no clue he said corner him... obviously not the right decision! Please help!!!!!

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post #2 of 8 Old 05-04-2013, 09:49 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
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When the horse is alone, a lot of folks initially plan on spending a couple hours sitting in a lawn chair, reading, where the horse is. Eventually the horse gets curious and comes to them. Don't catch it the first few times and don't catch the horse every single time you go to its area.

I have four horses and never walk up to the horse I want first. I carry a handful of treats and walk to the other three, leaving the I want for last. Generally that horse doesn't want to wait that long and comes to me.

If I'm close to the barn I just throw a hay twine around its neck. If I'm way out in the pasture, I halter the horse because it's going to be ponied back to the barn off the 4-wheeler.

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-04-2013, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Thank you we just hung out with him in the arena for an hour and a half and once and a while just going up to him to try to pet him, but he'd just walk away. Also he started to get irritated a few times when we came up to him, which is kind of understandable because we kept following him around. Also he isn't with any horses at the moment, we are afraid if we put him out in the big paddock we'll never be able to bring him back in to eat!

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post #4 of 8 Old 05-04-2013, 10:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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I want you to hang your halter and lead on your left elbow and don't try to hide it. When you enter the arena, circle way around until you are directly behind him but well out of kicking distance. Approach and make him move. Run a couple of steps but stay well back. That should get him moving. Stand where he was, then repeat with the circling. He'll get so he'll keep his butt away and want to face you. As you approach him, shoo him away as tho shooing chickens. Use as much energy as it takes to make him move even just a couple of steps. The more you move him away the more he will want to connect with you. People find this hard to believe but it's true. After you've moved him a few more times, stand still, slump your shoulders and extend your hand, fingers down and see if he'll touch your hand. If he does, back up a few steps and turn and walk away. There's a good chance he'll follow you. When he'll stay with you, show him the halter and let him check it out. Rub his shoulder and neck then slip the rope over his neck. And remove it. Do it half a dozen times. If you want, walk away and come back. When he's not concerned about the rope slip the halter on, do it up, undo it and remove it and walk away. If you have to go back to the big circle. If you don't rush this process and no shortcuts, he'll be easy to catch after that. Mix up what you do, bring him out and put him back and remove the halter. Bring him out, pick his hooves and put him back or groom him with each time out getting a little longer. Surprise him with a few treats after grooming.
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-04-2013, 11:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: midwest
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If you can watch a video of Lew Sterrett "round penning" a young or untamed horse, it will help you a lot. ( www.sermononthemount.org) . Basically what he does is very similar to what Saddlebag suggested. He gently encourages the horse to keep moving (doesn't have to be fast) around the round pen (or small paddock). The instant that the horse turns his head and looks at him with both eyes, Dr. Lew looks away and turns away from the horse, removing all pressure. Brief pause, then repeat. Pretty soon the horse realizes that if he moves away from the handler, he has to keep working (moving), but when he stops and turns TOWARD the handler, he gets to rest. It really doesn't take long to get the horse to want you to walk up to him and pet him.

I had the opportunity to try this with my own horse last summer, when he decided he didn't want to be caught by me. He was in a small paddock, so I just kept him moving and moving until he wanted to stop on his own. As soon as he did and turned toward me, I stopped pushing him to move and turned and walked away from him. I only had to do it a few times before he was following me all over the paddock.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-05-2013, 08:54 AM
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Location: Ontario
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HorsesR, sometimes (often) take a comfy chair and something to read and sit in the turnout. Try to pay no attention to him. When reading, the horse knows you aren't thinking of it and will often come and check you out. Take a riding crop to back him away if he gets too close. Just lightly tap the bottom of his chest and stop the moment he takes a step back. This reinforces his desire to be with you as you are driving him away but on a much smaller scale. He'll start to come back like a rubber band. When he's checking you out, resist the temptation to pet him. When you've had enough, just pack up and leave. Horses don't pet on each other so by not petting him as he checks you out you are respecting his space.
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-05-2013, 10:57 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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The "walking down" method has never failed me!

Pretty much make his butt run until he decides not to run anymore. I give my horse 1 chance to be caught; if she turns her butt to walk off, she runs. I try to catch her again, if she turns her butt to me she runs. Somtimes it takes thirty seconds, sometimes two hours. But every day it should take less and less time until he decides it's just a good idea to go ahead and come to you, or at least not run! I've done it in half-acre paddocks and 15 acre pastures; it works either way as long as you keep at it and don't tire out too easily! LOL.

I work at a stable and have to do this quite often when we get new horses. It doesn't take them long to figure out!

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Last edited by Sunny; 05-05-2013 at 11:00 PM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-05-2013, 11:20 PM
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Personally, I would not approach him any different than you would any other horse. My horses would be leery of you if you stayed low to the ground and held out anything towards them…and they are gentle.
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catch , field , horse , stubborn , young

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