How do I catch a scared horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-23-2007, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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How do I catch a scared horse?

I bought a mare two weeks ago and they told me that she is hard to catch. They said then when she got ridden before they got her they used to run her in with a motorbike. To me she just seems to be being cheeky and she is snorting a lot. She is getting better but she hates her head being touched. I put her in a yard once and every time she turned away from me I got her to move her bum away and face up to me. This is the only thing I have done. Does anyone have any other suggestions. [/quote]
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-24-2007, 07:09 AM
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I got an untouched horse, which was abused by the breeder and was afraid of people (as well as being touched etc.etc.). Well.. All I can say you need LOTS of patience even when you run mad on her behavior (it did happen to me plenty the time). :)

Whenever you go to the field take some treats: carrots, cookies or even hand of plain grain. I noticed many of them LOVE that carrot sticks treat. Whenever you approach her show her the treat and let her pick it up. Don't rush. If she's THAT afraid you may take scoop with the grain and make that sound so she'd know you have some. After week (or may be even faster!) she'll realize that whenever you are coming she may expect something yammy. And I can bet she'll be there begging for it. Also you can pet her whenever she eats. Just start with the neck and go closer and closer to the head. Or you may try to pet the nose and go upper. Also talk to her as much as you can very calmly and praise for ANY little step she does towards you.

I know it's very tough and even disappointing sometime, but in the end you'll be very proud you got her trust.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-24-2007, 07:41 AM
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yeah i agree with kitty val. or take a bucket into the paddock all horses when they see buckets go 'OMG FOOD' and when your touching her start at the base of the neck and work your way up as soon as she starts to panic start at the bottom again. she will soon learn that youu mean her no harm. good luck with your horse
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-24-2007, 04:05 PM
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I have cought by walking in the pasture with 2 of us then one leaving and me staying in the hay and covering up.The horse came over to eat and i grabed it. But that help it for the next time.
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-24-2007, 06:05 PM
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What others have said. Plus, if you can get a chestnut from her, or another horse and place it in your pocket it can help. This way you smell like a horse, and she won't be quite so afraid. She will be curious too.

Chestnut: The nobs that are on their legs on the inside around the knees. They peel off from time to time. They are sent areas, horses ID each other by their smell. :)
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-24-2007, 06:41 PM
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I used to sit in the pasture with a gelding I was training for awhile. He was terrified of people and his owners (completely out of ignorance) decided that since he was hard to catch that they'd put hobbles on him and then turn him loose. Idiots. It took a good week for him to get curious and come up to me and another for him to let me catch him. I always took food with me and put it on the ground around me. At first I didn't move at all when he came close and I certainly didn't try to grab him. Eventually I'd put my hand up and rub him and then I'd walk away from him. By the end of the two weeks, he'd walk up to me and I'd slowly reach up and put the lead rope on him. Then the owners and I had a looooooong talk.
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-24-2007, 10:43 PM
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When I have a horse that is hard to catch, I take the halter and lead line and then if it backs away from me I first move it back and forth in the stall until it gets tired and lets me touch it and halter it. Then I go in the stall a few times a day and just hang out but do not approach it.. Soon it comes up to me on it's own, then I rub it with my hands, after that has become the usual habit of it, I then bring the halter and rub it against her.

If she is snorting she is afraid, the lead line on the first trip in is to show that you can control it's feet even in the stall. The next several trips make sure you are safe, walk away from her, then back towards her in a 45 degree angle so she is not ready to go into flight mode, then retreat before you get to her, back off and then do it again until you get closer and closer. After you finally approach her and touch her, then retreat and look away from her looking either at a 45 degree angle or completely away from her. Wait until she approaches you, if 10 minutes goes by go back to approach and retreat.

This takes some patience but it works. And works for good.
WLD is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 05-25-2007, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for their good ideas. I will try some of them today or tomorrow. Thank you.
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-27-2007, 11:39 PM
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I recently got two horses myself. One of them was difficult to catch and had jumped a 4 foot fence when cornered. (Someone elses idea to corner). I had got him to come up to me before the help came but after that he was chased for about an hour. When he got cornered again I told the other people to back away. I would move closer to him until I saw his muscles tense and I would stop and look away with my head down. I was able to get him haltered and caught.

After a few days of handling, I was able to get a halter on him by having him eat through the halter that I would hold in front of the feed bucket. There was a great deal of grooming and talking that went on before that happened. Even after the halter was on, he was still a bit head shy but would finally let you get the lead rope on. He seemed to panic more the harder I held the lead rope. I just let it slip through my hands and it seemed to calm him some.

I have much more experience as a poor horseman as opposed to a good one however I think establishing trust and MUCH patience is required.

I hope the best for you. I was able to ride him a little today for the 1st time in just a halter and hair. It was worth the wait.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-20-2007, 09:52 PM
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I agree with the other members comments...Alot of patience will avail, the horse will some learn to trust you but it takesTIME!! i find by calling out the horse will associate soon enough in time it's ok to be caught, i find approching with eye of sight with the horse develops trust and lots of treats!! hang in there..good luck
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