Hard to catch horses - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By themacpack
  • 2 Post By xVannaIsLifex
  • 1 Post By PunksTank
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-15-2012, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Narnia
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Hard to catch horses

My mare really likes to run away when I try to get her to ride. I normally just chase her away until she comes up to me and lets me halter her. After she's caught, I don't have any more problems. I'm going to be moving to a new barn soon where she will be on a five acre pasture.
My sister will be getting a mare from my barn. I've recently started training her and she's picking up the same habit, but it's not as bad as my horse's. Once she comes to my new barn, all of them will be turned out in the same barn. I do the same thing of chasing her until she comes up to me and lets me catch her and she's caught faster than my horse.
I was just wondering if anyone knew a quicker way to catch their horses?
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-15-2012, 08:40 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
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How often do you interact with and catch your horse and NOT work (ride) her?
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-15-2012, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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I go to my barn to my barn twice a week and work her almost every time. Occasionally, I'll give her and my other horse time off and don't ride for a week, which is two or three days that I don't ride when I visit. She can't be ridden now because she has stitches.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-15-2012, 08:47 PM
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Unfortunately in such a large area - chasing her around won't help much. She'll run for a minute - then you'll run for 5 to get to where she goes - then rinse and repeat. She'd never go to you. The reason it works where you are now is because it's more work to run away from you than to just go with you. In the new place it's less work to get away from you.

So here's what I'd do. Make being with you enjoyable. Right now she sees you and assumes "aww great I've gotta work again" when they're thinking like that they sure aren't gonna come running up to you. But if every once in a while you take them out and do something really awesome for them they're gonna think "hmm maybe this time we'll work - but maybe I'm gonna get to _____" which will make them want to take the gamble.

I use clicker training for my horses and have never had an issue with catching any of mine - they come running xD
But at the lesson barn I work at we have more than a few horses who just hate to be caught. So when my volunteers have time I have them go catch the horse and just take them out grazing for a couple minutes. I always bring a treat when I catch them. I don't use it to bribe them over to me, they don't know I've got it till I've caught them and popped it in their mouth. So they don't develop the habit of only coming when they hear food :P
Now none of the lesson horses try to get away - I keep this up fairly regularly and now they come to the gate when I come. It's amazing what a mint here or there can do. So long as they only get it when they do something good - if they get pushy or rude about it no food and sometimes they'll get a dope slap depending on their level of rudeness. If you're gonna use treats make sure they only get them while they're doing something right like letting you halter or bridle them without a fuss - just slide it in their mouth :)
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-15-2012, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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That's what I was thinking of doing. I'm moving on Saturday, so I can't really start to break the habit yet. Once they get there, they're going into a smaller pasture until her stitches are gone and she's in better shape, so I can start then. My horses are just lazy. My other horse isn't a problem. He has to know everything I'm doing and is always right behind me.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-15-2012, 08:57 PM
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Some horses prefer horse company - while others really enjoy people company. Sounds like the two new ones prefer horse company. So making time around people more positive should fix that :)
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-15-2012, 09:41 PM
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All i do is take a treat with me and give them one when they come to me and say his name. Now all i have to do is go to the pasture and holler his name and he comes running. Only took about a week doin it every day twice a day
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-15-2012, 10:00 PM
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Due to your mention that the second horse has started running away from you as well... I wonder if the work your giving them is quite boring/confusing/difficult for them?
Nearly every time I catch my horse, I work him. And he still comes running to me in the paddock - a BIG paddock with 3 other horses. The only horse of mine that I've struggled to catch, was my crafty little Welsh mare when I was 11 years old!

I agree with making her time with you more enjoyable, though that doesn't necessarily mean you can't work her/them. When you DO work them, make sure you are working them within their means, and not giving confusing aids, or just trotting in a circle for an hour.
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-15-2012, 11:16 PM
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I have four horses and one boarded here, I have never had a problem catching any of the horse.....they are usually at the gate waiting to see who gets to come out.
How I accomplished that is not by giving them treats from the hand, I've never done that but I mix it up on them, I will bring them out to just groom them, let them out in the yard to graze, give them some of their favorite alfalfa while grooming them and once a day at supper time they all have to be haltered before they get their supper.
My boarder's old horse was a very hard horse to catch, he would spend 1/2 an hour trying to catch him, I would halter my horses up one by one and then take them out in the yard and unhalter them (I have the yard fenced off so they can wander around), his horse would not let me halter him for two days. So the first two days he spent his time in the pasture running around like a fool whinnying for the others, I would go down every hour or so and see if he was ready to put his halter on.......nope he would run away. That went on for two days, the third day everyone went in the yard, I went to halter him, he ran away....I left him for an hour and went out again, he was ready to have his halter put on, I walked him out of the pasture and removed his halter LOL the look on his face was priceless!! After that his owner or anyone had no problem catching him.
I also did the approach and retreat with him, if he turned to walk away when I approached him I would turn away.....of course that got him curious as to what I was doing so he would turn to me, I would turn back and walk towards him and he would turn away, I would do the same.....it does take patience and time but it works in the long run.

My horses are the joy in my life.....
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-16-2012, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Narnia
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Once I get to the barn and my horses hear me, they all come up to see me. That's never a problem. My barn owners horses, which are basically "my" horses, all come and see me and I give everyone a lot of attention. But once they see a halter, they all take off besides my youngest. After I work any horse, they follow me back to the barn and I give them treats. They always know they're getting treats after they work. Once I move barns, the working routine should get more exciting. It sometimes gets boring but I try to change it up as much as I can.
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