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My horse recently has been difficult to catch

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    01-22-2012, 06:12 PM
  #1
Yearling
My horse recently has been difficult to catch

A few weeks ago I started a rant thread because my brother in law was complaing that he couldn't catch my horse, when I have NEVER had an issue catching her. I have always been able to just walk right up to her. I knew it was just the result of bad horsemanship because he's had the same issue with all three of my horses. Well, in just this last week she has been running from me, and worse, turning her butt to me in her stall.

When she runs from me, I usually just follow her until she stops, which only takes about a minute before she gives up. I don't chase her because I don't want her to think that I WANT her to run. I keep her halter visible and let it be known I'm still trying to catch her, and the only way to get out of it is to keep working.

The stall issue is the real problem. How do I correct this? I feel like I should know this but all I can think about is I don't want to get kicked in such a small area.
     
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    01-22-2012, 06:24 PM
  #2
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whisper22    
A few weeks ago I started a rant thread because my brother in law was complaing that he couldn't catch my horse, when I have NEVER had an issue catching her. I have always been able to just walk right up to her. I knew it was just the result of bad horsemanship because he's had the same issue with all three of my horses. Well, in just this last week she has been running from me, and worse, turning her butt to me in her stall.

When she runs from me, I usually just follow her until she stops, which only takes about a minute before she gives up. I don't chase her because I don't want her to think that I WANT her to run. I keep her halter visible and let it be known I'm still trying to catch her, and the only way to get out of it is to keep working.

The stall issue is the real problem. How do I correct this? I feel like I should know this but all I can think about is I don't want to get kicked in such a small area.
Swing the end of your lead rope in a circle at your side applying pressure to your horses butt. When your horse turns around take the pressure off. If just twirling your lead doesn't make him move tap him on the butt with your lead till he turns around.
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    01-22-2012, 06:33 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Honestly, I'd be looking long and hard at the bad horsemanship issue to see what is being done that is creating the issue. That being said, the above post is right on as to addressing the result - my concern is that every effort you make to correct it will be undermined if the other bad horsemanship (I am assuming on the part of the BIL?) continues to be used on the horse. If you don't/can't stop the other "training" (because that is what it is - training, for all the wrong things) you will just be going in a vicious circle and the horse will become further frustrated and confused.
     
    01-22-2012, 07:29 PM
  #4
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieH    
Swing the end of your lead rope in a circle at your side applying pressure to your horses butt. When your horse turns around take the pressure off. If just twirling your lead doesn't make him move tap him on the butt with your lead till he turns around.
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For some reason I thought to move the hind end away, you should be standing closer to their shoulder. That's where I was running into problems, her pen is just too small for that. But if I'm standing directly behind her, it should have the same effect? I'll probably have to use a whip, she doesn't really respond to the lead, even when it hits her.

Is what I'm doing when she runs from me ok?

Quote:
Originally Posted by themacpack    
Honestly, I'd be looking long and hard at the bad horsemanship issue to see what is being done that is creating the issue. That being said, the above post is right on as to addressing the result - my concern is that every effort you make to correct it will be undermined if the other bad horsemanship (I am assuming on the part of the BIL?) continues to be used on the horse. If you don't/can't stop the other "training" (because that is what it is - training, for all the wrong things) you will just be going in a vicious circle and the horse will become further frustrated and confused.
I know exactly what you're saying. I made a point to tell him this problem started after HIS attempts to catch her. I was careful not to mention his crappy horsemanship, that would have just caused more problems. I WILL make sure he knows I am trying to correct this, and exactly what he needs to do to not make it worse.
     
    01-22-2012, 07:46 PM
  #5
Foal
Make it nice for her to be around you , and make being caught a fun thing instead of a bad thing. Bring a handful of her food or a few peppermints, and get HER to put her nose through the halter by holding the treat through the nose loop of the halter. When she has it on, scratch and pat her behind the ears or give her a nice little face rub. Its all about making her want to be around you, regardless if she is running away from the BIL. If you make it nice for her to be around you, she won't run away anymore :)
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    01-23-2012, 01:17 AM
  #6
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goosey    
Make it nice for her to be around you , and make being caught a fun thing instead of a bad thing. Bring a handful of her food or a few peppermints, and get HER to put her nose through the halter by holding the treat through the nose loop of the halter. When she has it on, scratch and pat her behind the ears or give her a nice little face rub. Its all about making her want to be around you, regardless if she is running away from the BIL. If you make it nice for her to be around you, she won't run away anymore :)
Makes sense, thanks.
     
    01-23-2012, 01:36 PM
  #7
Foal
When one of my horses started playing this little game and running all over the pasture, I started going out with a treat (I know that some of you disagree) and the halter. When he came up for the treat I would put the halter on, lead him around a little bit and then take the halter off and leave. I think he was associating the halter with long, hard rides. After just a few days of this, I no longer have trouble catching him. Once in a while he'll highjink around but when he stops I just walk right up to him and it's all good.
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    01-23-2012, 01:46 PM
  #8
Showing
If any horse turns their butt to me, they get a smack on their behind. Don't have to be by their shoulder, behind them, the location doesn't matter SO LONG AS you aren't going to get run over or kicked. As soon as they turn and face you, soften your aura and back up to give them a release. :) That's how I would handle the stall. I wouldn't bribe with treats or whatnot, treats are meant to be earned, not handed out. Then you get other problems like treat mongers, pushy detectives, and nippy habits. So make sure you always give the horse release once they do what you ask.

As for catching, if they walk away, I make them work hard away. I will make them trot, canter, gallop away from me. Only when they stop and look at me do I stop, back off, don't give them direct eye contact and draw them into me. If they don't come, then I try approaching, if they turn and look away, I drive them off again. It works for me, especially lately since my boy has made it into the "cool crew" and cool apparently means no moms allowed.

Well he sang a different tune soon as I made him work around his friends.. :P
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    01-23-2012, 01:55 PM
  #9
Foal
Right on trail dancer! I just blogged about the catching problem a couple weeks ago and said almost the exact same thing (and more)!

As for the stall catching/butt turning, I think a whip is a good idea, so you can keep your distance in case she kicks. I've found that being 'annoying' by tap, tap, tapping with the hard part of a whip, is a good way to get them to swing their butt away. Also, be sure NOT to make eye contact when catching, both in the stall and in the pasture. Since you are (presumably) the lead horse, mere eye contact can be enough to push the horse away. Lastly, I love the Monty Roberts join up method, and, if you are good at it in a round pen/arena, then the same principles can be applied for catching..wherever! Hope that helps
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    01-23-2012, 02:04 PM
  #10
Foal
@ Skyseternalangel, I agree with most everything you said (which pretty much describes the Join Up process), but I would disagree about the treats. I don't think horses are smart enough to 'understand' treats as an earned reward, unless it is immediate. Ie...get on the trailer, here is a treat. Get caught...here is a treat. Good ride...a treat after a ride isn't going to give you better rides. I just don't think they can make the association between a willingness in the ring and the carrot a half hour later. I agree that they shouldn't be fed by hand in most instances, but rather given a handful of grain in a bucket EVERY time they are brought in so that they associate being brought in with a reward. Am I allowed to link to my blog...? I describe the whole catching problem in greater detail there...although I think the Join Up skills are essential as well, and I failed to mention that. Perhaps that will be my next blog
     

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