Horse very unwilling to be caught. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 18 Old 07-06-2013, 04:37 PM
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My horse used to refuse to be caught to, where sometimes it escalated to jumping the fence into other pastures. I fixed the problem long since then, even though he sometimes still tests me. I have 4 ways to help fix it:
1. If you NEED to get him out asap, like for the vet/emergency/etc, just bring a big bucket of grain out. When my horse knocked his hip running from me, we gave in and brought food so we could look at the wound he gave himself. Sure, he won that round, but there will be plenty of other times to win yourself.
2. If your horse is a runner, that runs away from being caught, turn the "fun" into work. Make him run. And run. And run. Eventually you will get that inner ear turned to you, and you will get signs of him wanting to come in to you. I always add one or two laps after I see the signs, just to make sure.
3. If he likes to walk/trot away, turn your back to him when he starts moving. As soon as he takes one step of walk/trot, turn your back to him. It takes the "fire" away, so to speak. It also takes the fun out of the game.
4. If he is in a relatively small pasture, choose a point to walk to, and go to it. Completely ignore what your horse is doing, and walk to the opposite side of the fence. Turn a different direction, and continue. Soon, make your lines closer and closer to him. If he is anything like my horse, he will watch you like you are stupid. My horse stands there absolutely baffled at what his crazy owner is doing this time.

As soon as I would catch my horse, I would have a treat in hand. They will want to come up to you for a little something good. I always, always before I ride take my time grooming him, to give him something pleasurable, so it's not all about work. Or some days, I catch him and just walk and let him graze. All horses deserve a little bit of a break from work for a little fun day.

After 5 years of looking for the right answer to my horse that didn't want to be caught, he finally comes up to me in the pasture. I combined all 4 of those methods, using different ones at different times. Now my horse either walks or trots up to me, and shoves his nose into the halter, ready for work.

As for the not wanting to walk, bring a nice, longer lead out with you. I think mine is like 20 ft. I would say, don't bring your usual lunge line, or else your horse will get the idea of work. Having a longer line on his halter will give you the ability to do some real ground work in the pasture, instead of being limited to a shorter one. If he doesn't want to move, back him up/move his shoulders/move his hips/do circles with a lot of direction changes/etc. Make the work be in the pasture. After a few session of not having fun in the pasture, I bet he will want to walk with you and avoid all of the unnecessary work all together.

I hope some of this will work! Best of luck!
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post #12 of 18 Old 07-07-2013, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets View Post
Do you mean that they turn their butt towards you? I would swing the lead rode at their butt and make them move away. Then keep walking them down. Follow them around until they stop and turn their head towards you. Then you want to turn away from them.
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No he's more of a rear up in your face, or go to bit you kind of guy... Say, If I have managed to catch him and put his head collar on, he will rear up or bite me to get out of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KylieHuitema View Post
My horse used to refuse to be caught to, where sometimes it escalated to jumping the fence into other pastures. I fixed the problem long since then, even though he sometimes still tests me. I have 4 ways to help fix it:
1. If you NEED to get him out asap, like for the vet/emergency/etc, just bring a big bucket of grain out. When my horse knocked his hip running from me, we gave in and brought food so we could look at the wound he gave himself. Sure, he won that round, but there will be plenty of other times to win yourself.
2. If your horse is a runner, that runs away from being caught, turn the "fun" into work. Make him run. And run. And run. Eventually you will get that inner ear turned to you, and you will get signs of him wanting to come in to you. I always add one or two laps after I see the signs, just to make sure.
3. If he likes to walk/trot away, turn your back to him when he starts moving. As soon as he takes one step of walk/trot, turn your back to him. It takes the "fire" away, so to speak. It also takes the fun out of the game.
4. If he is in a relatively small pasture, choose a point to walk to, and go to it. Completely ignore what your horse is doing, and walk to the opposite side of the fence. Turn a different direction, and continue. Soon, make your lines closer and closer to him. If he is anything like my horse, he will watch you like you are stupid. My horse stands there absolutely baffled at what his crazy owner is doing this time.

As soon as I would catch my horse, I would have a treat in hand. They will want to come up to you for a little something good. I always, always before I ride take my time grooming him, to give him something pleasurable, so it's not all about work. Or some days, I catch him and just walk and let him graze. All horses deserve a little bit of a break from work for a little fun day.

After 5 years of looking for the right answer to my horse that didn't want to be caught, he finally comes up to me in the pasture. I combined all 4 of those methods, using different ones at different times. Now my horse either walks or trots up to me, and shoves his nose into the halter, ready for work.

As for the not wanting to walk, bring a nice, longer lead out with you. I think mine is like 20 ft. I would say, don't bring your usual lunge line, or else your horse will get the idea of work. Having a longer line on his halter will give you the ability to do some real ground work in the pasture, instead of being limited to a shorter one. If he doesn't want to move, back him up/move his shoulders/move his hips/do circles with a lot of direction changes/etc. Make the work be in the pasture. After a few session of not having fun in the pasture, I bet he will want to walk with you and avoid all of the unnecessary work all together.

I hope some of this will work! Best of luck!
Thank you very much! I am going to try some of these things. He is very smart, so I may need to keep switching methods to keep him on his toes!
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post #13 of 18 Old 07-07-2013, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedy da fish View Post
No he's more of a rear up in your face, or go to bit you kind of guy... Say, If I have managed to catch him and put his head collar on, he will rear up or bite me to get out of it.
If you have the halter on him already, correct him. Make him move his butt, make him back away, make him lunge, make him yield his front end away. You have control with his halter. If not, he is lacking in respect.
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post #14 of 18 Old 07-07-2013, 03:04 PM
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Are you keeping him at home or on a livery yard?
I wonder if theres someone who could help you that he couldn't intimidate - I get the feeling that he thinks he has you beat
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post #15 of 18 Old 07-07-2013, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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He was good today :) I managed to spend a bit of time with him in the field - fussing him and I had some treats too. So, later on I cleared some dropping out of the field and he came over to me. Getting him in after that was fine :)

Jaydee - He is at home but I recently moved him from a livery yard in May. I do have to admit, when I am on my own with him, I do back off when he puts his ears back :/ I know I shouldn't but he has attacked me and had me on the floor a few times and I lose my bottle. Even though he hasn't done that in years.
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post #16 of 18 Old 07-07-2013, 03:25 PM
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Have you ever used a rope halter? They are great for teaching and retraining respect. Perhaps changing up the routine, like, bring him in for grooming, some grain, then put him in a round pen for a little while. If he doesn't let you come up to him, put his butt to work. When he joins up with you, then, praise him, and go for a ride. Horses are very smart and figure out any changes in the routine. I try to spend one day just playing with my horse, only lunging her a little, maybe ride a short while, but, usually just grooming her, making her run around the indoor arena, flexing her neck, giving her a treat or two. She seems much happier and less nervous about being away from the rest of the horses when I change up her routine. Have to be one step ahead of them, to say the least.

Also, approach your horse with a calm attitude. They sense whenever you are annoyed or not too happy with them. I used to use an old trick of putting crushed ice in a plastic cup, shaking it when they saw me. It would have a horse running to get something good, which I made them follow me back to the barn to get a treat. :)
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post #17 of 18 Old 07-09-2013, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Suddenly, he is fine again.. Even after yesterday - having the vet out, teeth rasped, mane pulled, a bath and not being turned out until midday - He was still willing to come in when I wanted him.
Uh, horses...
;)
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post #18 of 18 Old 07-09-2013, 12:39 PM
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Oh no... our horses must be related ;) this sounds all too familiar... Maybe he is getting attached to something or doesn't want to work, either way in his mind he probably sees someone coming to get him and doesn't have a "reason" to go... Often like us and school or work: when you have to get up you only think negative things but once going your day usually gets better and you're happy you got up. Switch it up now and maybe you get up, start to become unwilling to move then something motivates you... Maybe walk into the paddock with grain or treats.. if the nice way doesn't work then he is getting bratty... do what ever you usually do to get him and somehow get him in a small paddock (any place to free lunge) and have him run around in circles for a good 1 minute straight before stopping him do a certain thing.. a weird whistle or noise of any kind; somethin recognizable... then stand where you are with a nice treat and wait for him to come and get it... do this again several times but change it up... try walking away from him in the aisle (while he's free) do the noise and hold out a treat. If the ring is empty try it there. This helps all the time to make a horse come because all they need is to know that when you call him something good happens. If he wont walk with the halter on lure him to the gate with treats and feed it to him once he is out of it. Hope this works for your horse like it did for mine! I know that he's better now but in any other case I hop this works
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Last edited by JumpingwithBrirony; 07-09-2013 at 12:43 PM.
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