Hard to catch horses. What to do? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 74 Old 09-06-2011, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
^ To me that sounds like a negative reinforcement. "As soon as you let me catch you, I'm going to make you work."

But that's just me.
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I thought the same thing when she told me that. It seemed to work though.
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post #12 of 74 Old 09-06-2011, 06:29 PM
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It also sounds like a training tactic I heard... I want to say it was Chris Cox??

The horse would run from him, and he would swing the rope and slap the end on the ground as he did so, which he compared to "sending the horse away in the round pen; as you would when it gives you the wrong answer." Make it work harder than it has to and it should put two-and-two together: I run away, so I work harder. I stand here, and don't get worked (at least not right away).

But I haven't tried that yet with my boy. He's already just shy of terrified enough about being caught without me chasing him all over!

"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative." (H.G. Wells)
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post #13 of 74 Old 09-06-2011, 09:52 PM
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If any of my horses ever decided to turn away from me when I called or approached with a halter, that horse would soon find out just how long I can make her run for! Every time she'd stop, I'd make her run some more. When finally she would stop and face me attentively, I would approach and halter her, then give her a treat. If she even blinked (figuratively speaking) while I was approaching, I would chase her again. Of course, this only works if you have the horse contained in a small enough area. On even a 2 acre field, it's exhausting to say the least, but I've done it.
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post #14 of 74 Old 09-06-2011, 10:12 PM
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I suggest that you put your horse in a small~ish pasture (for your convienience) and when he runs away just act like it was your idea. Walk after him and swing the rope while making noises to encourage him to run. The first couple of times I did this, my gelding bucked and tooted around the pasture for the better part of 10 full minutes! He got all sweaty and was huffing and puffing, when he actually stopped running to let me catch him. . It only took a couple of sessions and he has rarely ever given me any more trouble. On days when he is really bad, but then decided to stop for me I would just put the halter on do a quick walk around the pasture and release him as a reward.

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post #15 of 74 Old 09-06-2011, 10:36 PM
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I had a mare who was an absolute pain in the rear end to catch! Well is she'd so much and take a single step anywhere but towards me, I'd put her to work! (Probably more work for me than her in a five acre pasture) then let her stop and approach her...same thing until she'd finally give up and be a good girl. Some times I didn't even put the lead on, and if I walked away she'd follow me. I assume like a join up? But that's what I'd suggest. Goodluck!
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post #16 of 74 Old 09-06-2011, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Ok well I think I might stick with the quad then. My horses don't just walk, they run and manage to always be at the opposite end as me. I just can't keep up and in the mean time they are busy having a break. Hopefully they will figure out quickly that if they don't let me catch them the first time around, out comes the machine that doesn't get tired. The crazy thing is that neither of them are afraid of the quad outside the fence so they must know the difference. I know of other people that just have their horses in a smaller pen and then they are fine, but I like the fact that my horses can wander around a bit.
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post #17 of 74 Old 09-06-2011, 10:43 PM
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I'm an old hand at this. Walk your horse down. Don't make it run. Carry a crop but only for an emergency. Stick it in your boot or carry it behind your back. Focus only on the one you wish to catch. When she stops to graze, ramp up your energy and run a step or two toward her and wave your arms. Just enough to get her moving. After 3 or 4 of these she will start watching you which is what you want. Don't talk to her. If she turns to watch you with both eye, back up a couple of steps then turn until your back is mostly toward her and bow your head and look at the ground. This makes you look smaller and your back is non threatening. She may come right up to you. Extend your hand so her muzzle can touch it. When she does, start walking away. If she doesn't follow you, resume walking her down and moving her off her grazing spot. Spend the time now, and it will pay off. By her touching your hand and your backing up you've taken the pressure off her. And horses have this thing about following what moves away and avoiding that which approaches. On the first day don't attempt to halter her. This is building trust. You walking down sessions won't last anywhere near as long on the next day that you do this. When she approaches just rub her all over, again, no halter or rope. Allow her to have a say in the matter. If she walks away, just wait a minute to see if she returns. If not resume the exercise.
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post #18 of 74 Old 09-06-2011, 10:45 PM
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I am the "feeder & treat" person. I am also the "hook up & the trailer & work your butt off" person. I mix it up so they never exactly know what kinda person I am at any given moment. My horses are cookie addicts, their addiction works to my advantage. *side note - I turn every horse into a cookie addict, they always follow their "dealer" hoping for a fix.
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post #19 of 74 Old 09-06-2011, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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The annoying thing is that if it was only one horse in there I know they would walk right up to me. It is totally a game for them and not the fact that they dislike or are scared of me. If I wasn't so frustrated I would actually laugh at my 4 yr olds expression while she is running, totally a look of her laughing at my slowness.
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post #20 of 74 Old 09-06-2011, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Saddlebag: what do you do when they just run from one end to the other? Keep waking? In your experience, how long does it take for them to start thinking and stop playing? I would live to do the trust version over the chase them down version but like I said, they are always at the opposite end as me. Plus they totally feed off each other, if one thinks about moving the other one starts walking and then the original one starts running.

Waresbear: if only mine liked treats, they won't even eat carrots.

I just find it so frustrating because as soon as I've caught either one of them, they are totally happy. I swear that my 4 yr old loves to be ridden more than being pet or brushed.
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