help....impossible to catch this horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 01-12-2009, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Eastern Kansas
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I am working with my Daughter in law's colt right now. He had a few traumatic months and didn't trust people, she had left his halter on and once she was close enough she would grab the halter to catch him. That just made it worse. This is what I've been doing and what I have done with several "hard to catch" horses.
First you need to plan ahead and only go out to catch her when you have lots of time.

My horses are fed at least once a day, as I would go out with the grain I would chase the other horses off and no body got fed until I gave the colt a couple hand fulls of grain. It only took a couple feedings for him to be the first one up to me when I went out. Then I would give the other horses their feed and go back to the colt. He got his feed and I would slowly rub his shoulder and neck and as he got more comfortable with my touch I would take the lead rope and rub his neck, put the lead over his neck and pet him some more, then let him go.
After a few days of that I would add the halter to the mix, put the lead rope around the neck, slide the halter on, pet him and let him eat then let him go.

Now I go out, put the rope around his neck, slide the halter on, lead him to his stall and give him his feed. I brush him and rub him and pick up his feet, scratch his butt and generally play with him while he's eating, then I take the halter off and let him go.
He don't mind being caught at all now.
I've done this same technique with several hard to catch horses, some that the owner said would take them more than an hour to catch. The first few times it may take a while, but the horses learn very quickly. Just don't loose your patience.

I do not leave halters on, and I do not hide the lead rope, the horse needs to come to me when they see me with their lead & halter. Every time I went to the pasture to feed or work with the colt I had the halter and lead rope hanging on my shoulder, it became part of the daily routine.
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post #12 of 24 Old 01-12-2009, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sundre, Alberta, Canada
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I would give the good old join up a shot, it does work wonder on hard to catch horses.
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post #13 of 24 Old 01-12-2009, 01:51 PM
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I haven't watched or read alot about Clinton Anderson, So I'm not positive what the join up method is... but this is what worked for me:

I take my halter and lead rope out and I go towards my horse, when he runs... I let him. As he starts to come down to a walk I go towards him again, when he runs...I let him. I never allow him to stop. Unless he is ready to be caught. And you know he is ready to be caught because he stops and he turns to face you...and he waits until you come to him.

It took me about a week and a half and about 30 minutes a day in the begining. Now it's rare that he runs...but if he does, it doesnt last for more than 5 minutes. It works best in a smaller paddock. But it's a great solution. Don't "chase" the horse, just kindly keep them moving until they want to be caught..

It sounds like a discipline issue to me...

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post #14 of 24 Old 01-12-2009, 02:43 PM
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Same general idea of the join up.
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post #15 of 24 Old 01-12-2009, 06:55 PM
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Its just going to take time. Your friend is going to have to practice catch and release. Which is just that. Spend and hour catching her and then shove a cookie in her mouth and give her some loves and let her go. Next time it may only take 45 minutes...Brush her mane and give her a good scratch and let her go. Next time may only take 30 mins to catch her....again, give a carrot or something small and special do your best to rub her fur off and let her go.

Eventually she'll learn that your friend isn't all work and no play. The solution is a bond, and that's going to take time to build. No quick fix to this one.

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20

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post #16 of 24 Old 01-12-2009, 07:56 PM
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Location: a small town in nebraska.. not too terribly exciting
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i feel your (friend's) pain..

i actually OWN a horse just like this. Shes a 25 year old mare that still has this habit. the only reason that is, is because of a) her age and b) i never had the time to break her of it. but i did break her son of it.

i started by seperating him from the other horses (but still in eyesight) and did a lot of one on one time. doesnt matter what it is.. brushing, picking out their feet, taking him on walks.. just as long as you spend more time sending the message that YOU are part of the herd. Your also changing the routine so its more interesting for the horse to be around you. also, do alot of lunging and work in a round pen. get the horse to join up EVERY TIME you work with the horse.

hopefully this helps. it worked for me.
refer to your friend to watch montey roberts videos as well!
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post #17 of 24 Old 01-12-2009, 08:14 PM
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My horse was *exactly* like this! Like Dumas says...bonding takes time. There are no short cuts.
What I started to do was drive her AWAY from us. Keep her feet moving. Use the lead rope for this. (of course...that means your feet have to move, be prepared...)
Horses are naturally curious. They have *got* to know what their buds are getting from you!
I wouldn't allow her close enough...until SHE stopped. Once she stopped, I could walk right up to her. Like was said before...most horses *hate* having their face messed with. Aim for, and look at, their shoulder. She was in a pasture with another horse, but I kept aiming this 'treatment' just at her. She couldn't stand it! LOL!
It took almost a year for her to trust me. I thought that was a rather long time, until I really think about it. That's about the time it took all of my horses. (And I 'handle' them a LOT!

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post #18 of 24 Old 01-13-2009, 12:31 AM
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A simple solution would be to tell your friend to go out to the field where her horse is and simply pet her and give her a treat. It may take a little while to get to her at fist, but after a while you should see a change. The horse has now learned to associate your friend with work and leaving the pasture. If she sees that not every time your friend comes out means work, she will be more likely to respond to her. Keep in mind though this should be done with a simple treat, not a whole bucket of feed. A bucket will attract more horses, and serve more as a distraction.
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post #19 of 24 Old 01-13-2009, 01:46 AM
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ok I did not read all the replies as I am tired and half asleep but here is my .02!

My mustang mare did the same thing as yours. For the first 2 months she was fine and walked up to you when called. She started doing that where she would not be caught. I started with the food bribing, it worked for about a week. Then that day came I though, you want to run some? Then we are gonna run! I chased that mare for the first day for an hour or more until she decided she did not want to move no matter what we did. I never tried to catch her until she stopped and would not move when I tried to run her off. If she stopped, we got her going again. It is actually using part of herf instinct with the mare, you are teaching her that you are the herd leader. I did this each and every day, and each day she became easier to catch. It was just a minute or two at first, but within 2 weeks, I had cut it down to 30 minutes or less. Within a month it was less than 5 minutes. After 2 months, she comes running to the gate as soon as she hears me walking towards the barn!
She will quickly learn that running and being chased around without you giving up or bribing her is to much work and it is a hole lot easier to just be caught. The main thing is to never let them stop running until it is obvious they give up and no longer want to run away. It is time consuming and must be done thoroughly, do not give up half way through. Also, don't always go out and catch her and ride/work her, sometimes just go catch her, pet her or brush her for a minute or two, then let her go. She will probably look at you like, that's it? but it helps her to know it is not all work when she gets caught. Stick with it, cause it works! Basically it is like join up, which is what many others are describing, and it does work in larger pastures, just hard on you with all the running!

Do not look her in the eye either, aim for the neck or shoulder area. Also, if she stops and then even looks like she is gonna run, start chasing her again until she stops again, then try to catch her again.

I agree with leaving the halter on until you get her broke of the running away habit, try to make sure there is nothing to get caught on, or purchase a break away halter so if she does get hung up, she can get it off.

Do not rush her to be caught, send her off and make her go away from you until she decides, ok I am NOT gonna run away anymore. It works wonders, I have used it on many horses and every one of them has turned around, most in less than month. The best one was my friends 14 y.o quarab, she had not been able to easily catch him since he was a 2 year old. I went out and worked with him everyday, when he ran, we would purposefully chase him around the pasture until he would just give up. Within 2 weeks, he would be waiting for us to come and get him.

You know how to make a miniature horse even smaller? Leave them in the dryer a little longer!
"Don't ever regret something that once made you smile"

Last edited by minihorse927; 01-13-2009 at 01:56 AM.
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post #20 of 24 Old 01-13-2009, 02:00 AM
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Location: Southern Ohio
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sorry for the double post, but it was to long to add this to mine.

Just wanted to add I used chase for lack of a better word, but keep her feet moving, do not let her stop moving. If it is a big pasture, get 3 or 4 people to help out.

You know how to make a miniature horse even smaller? Leave them in the dryer a little longer!
"Don't ever regret something that once made you smile"
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