Horse refusing to be caught. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-08-2009, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Horse refusing to be caught.

Hey there. I need some serious help. My horse, who just started going out with two other horses about 2 weeks ago, has started up a new habit, running from me and everyone else when it's time to be caught. We tried grain, bringing everyone else in except him, cornering him, ect. After about 30 minutes, he gave up and just came to us. And it's not like he's just walking away, he's actually galloping around and bucking, but not in a mad way, but like he's having fun.

I honestly don't know what to do. He's always been very easy to catch, and he pulled a shoe today while refusing to be caught. I don't want this to become a problem, since this is the first time he's done it, I would like to make it stop. NOW.

Any help would be great. Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-08-2009, 02:50 PM
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One thing you could try is to have two people catch and hold the other two horses in the field, then chase him away.

If a horse is mis-behaving in a herd environment the rest will chase him off and make him feel vunerable by isolating him .

Look for him to drop his head and start to ' lick & chew ' this is a signal that he wants to re-join the herd, you should at this point be able to carefully walk upto and catch him. When you have done this reward him ( give him a treat AFTER he has been caught ) then release all three back in to the field.

After you have done this two or three times he should have learnt his lesson.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-08-2009, 02:51 PM
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Bummer! First off, I would make sure he is turned out in a pair of bell boots so you don't have the shoe problem anymore!! =) As far as catching goes, is there a favorite treat he has? Will he come to you if you leave the other horses out there and offer all of them treats? Then he might get jealous...I would just go out with whatever kind of treat and stand there until he comes to you (I know it seems like a waste of time, but if you follow him around the pasture he will start to think it is a game. Also, I would turn him out for a bit in a halter (break-away of course) so you don't have to fuss with getting a halter over his head, just ckip on a lead rope. I hope this helps somewhat! Good luck!
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-08-2009, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I'll try the treat thing next time. A big orange carrot should do the trick. The only problem about turning him out in a halter is that the other horses chew on them and ruin them. The thing is, that he had bell boots on when he was out there, not sure how he managed to get the shoe off! I may try throwing his No Turn bell boots on him next time, maybe those will stay put better?

Oh, and nutty, the other two horses wouldn't let us catch them either! Its like a big group project now....haha.
jumpwhat007 is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 06-08-2009, 03:51 PM
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try talkign to the other horses and ignoring him.

go into the field and pull at the grass pretending you eating it

ok trot on... Trot, no i said TROT!!!!
ponygalmaddy is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 06-08-2009, 06:33 PM
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I fought this problem for quite a while. Try walking out into the pasture (you may have to do this in lieu of riding for a couple of days, don't go out with the intent of accomplishing something else, too), and walk toward your horse. When he responds (Lifts his head and looks at you), immediately stop, turn, and walk away. Keep looking back over your shoulder, and when he goes back to grazing, start walking toward him again. If just approaching him doesn't generate interest, you can try pretending to be sneaky, singing, or anything else, just get his full focus on you as you walk toward him, then walk away with a "never mind" kind of attitude. Eventually, your horse will start turning his shoulders to follow you, even take steps toward you. This method can really play off of his playfulness. When you do catch him, pet him, then release him and walk away. Repeat. Hope that helps!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
Scoutrider is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 06-08-2009, 06:48 PM
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I've had this exact problem with my older mare since I bought her! I've had her for 7 years now and she still does it...I'll go out to catch someone, doesn't even have to be her...but as soon as she sees a lead rope she'll spin around and trot off and the whole herd follows her! Once she knows she has everyone, they go for a victory gallop around the pasture...BRAT!

In a paddock, she's fine to catch. But in the pasture, whether it's with other horses or not, she's a right COW! I've tried getting her curious with the approach and retreat method, I've followed/chased her around the pasture for up to an hour at a time before...after a certain amount of time following, she'll drop her head and mozy over as if to say "ok fiiiiiine..." but it's always seemed to be on HER terms!

I've taken to bringing her in every day to grain her. Now, everytime we call them to the front, they all come galloping in and she's *usually* the first at the gate. After she's been grained that day however, good luck. Can't get within 100 feet without her turning and starting to walk away. Anyway, I've just found a way to make being caught a positive thing for her...hope things work out for you and your boy!

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post #8 of 11 Old 06-08-2009, 06:59 PM
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I used to sit in the paddock with my back towards the horse and just pick grass, soon enough she would get nosey and come to see what I was doing. Then I got up slowly, I either had a carrot or another treat of some kind and while giving her the carrot I would quickly put the halter and lead on. After a while she soon learned that if she was easy to catch then she would get a treat and now meets me at the gate.

Good Luck!

Human toes are horses stress balls....

CrazyChester is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 06-08-2009, 07:39 PM
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How big is the field he is in. Do you grain him or just pasture grass? I have had this problem and dealt with it two different ways. The first horse was in about 1.5 acre field and would run when I came to get her. So what I finally did was kept her running. Anytime she thought about stopping I would chase her and keep her running. After about 12 laps around the field she didn't want to run no more!!! Neither did I!!! But it fixed it.

Second one was on 18 acres and no way I was chasing him. So I would feed the horses in the field and the only way they could eat was to allow me to catch and halter them. Then I would tie them and let them eat and release. It took awhile at first but soon they began to identify being caught with eating.

"Life is like a grindstone. Whether it grinds you down or polishes you up depends on what you are made of."
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-08-2009, 08:08 PM
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I heard this will cure it, but it takes time.

Try to catch him way before you want to ride him. When you have caught him, let him graze a while, pat him, and then let him go. Next time you come, bring a carrot, let him pat him then take him to ride him. When you are done, let him back out w/ his buddies. Wait a while, then catch him again, let him graze, then let him go.

This teaches your horse that you don't just come to see him to take him away from his buddies, grass, and freedom to work him.

I heard this from Pat Parelli. Humans have direct line thinking. Most people don't come to catch their horses until they want to ride. This makes the horse associate you catching him as working. So teach him that you catching him can be a good thing for him as well.
SpiritJordanRivers is offline  

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