New horse wont let me catch her. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-27-2013, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Morgantown, KY
Posts: 15
• Horses: 3
Unhappy New horse wont let me catch her.

So, yesterday i got 3 horses. One of them is trained to ride but hasn't been ridden in a while. And i was planning on grooming her and then maybe bring her across the street into the other field and let her graze.. But she won't let me catch her. I've tried with carrots and apple slices. All she does is look at me and walk away. I don't know if shes scared of me or what. I've seen her a couple times before she got here and she came running. :(
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-27-2013, 01:19 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
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How much experience do you have with horses? How big of an enclosure are these horses in?

Treats are going to get you nowhere.

This horse needs tons of groundwork done with her so that you gain her respect. Right now, you're just some random person to her who means absolutely nothing in terms of who is in charge.

But that means you have to catch her first. In order to do that, you need to make her move. Control the feet and you control the mind. Drive her away from you. Make her run. Then, when she stops and looks at you with both eyes, turn your back on her. If she comes up to you, put a halter on her. If not, drive her again until she gives you two eyes.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-27-2013, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Morgantown, KY
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Well, the field they're in is half the size of my back yard. Its about 2 acres. And i've had horses before. But they knew when to come to the gate. I used to work alot with horses when i was about 16. But i haven't been near them in a while. So i guess you could say.. I'm in between Sort of experienced and not experienced.

I've tried that for about an hour. She looked like she was gunna bolt right though me. :X. I've also heard a bunch of stuff about people getting kicked in the face and whatnot.. She might sense my fear too. :/
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-27-2013, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Hi, there. The horse will show you what's not working, as she already has, according to your posts. So, you need to stop doing what doesn't work. If you approach her with pressure, with the direct-line human goal of CATCHING her, that intention/energy is all highly offensive to her, like you're a predator wanting to eat her for lunch. So, the whole idea of CATCHING must change into HALTERING, in your mind.

Then, you want HER to catch YOU! That's by your being ATTRACTIVE/NON-PREDATORY to her, whether it's by treats, or offering to scritch her itchy spots, or SOMETHING good happening for her when you're near. You want to even hold off on haltering her till she'll stand there while you play FRIENDLY game with her, for a bit, so that she'll always associate you with good things, & don't always halter her & put her to work, during the rest of your relationship. ASK her, rather than demand, like a partner, rather than a dictator.

Good luck, & there are many videos on youtube with free info on catching & rapport-building.
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-27-2013, 07:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Northern Kentucky
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My new horse did that for a few days. It's a new place. And she's probably trying to get used to it. I would walk towards my new horse towards his withers. And not making eye contact. If he would look like he was going to move, or moved away I would back up a couple steps. All while talking to him. Every time your horse acts like shes going to move way from you back up. It draws them into you some how. Or either they will lower their heads *being submissive* and you can walk up to her. Also may conceal your lead rope or halter at first.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-27-2013, 08:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by MrsStinson89 View Post
...Also may conceal your lead rope or halter at first.
Excellent, MrsS: you've discovered "approach & retreat" & "the draw" that retreating can cause!

A word of caution, though: Hiding the equipment is perceived as sneaky by the horse, & isn't what you'd do with a partner, right? It's usually better, therefore, to hold the halter right out in front of your body as you approach her in your friendly way.
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-27-2013, 11:57 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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hey have you tried playing in the paddock with her? my new girl was really bad at catching to, so i made it onto a game. i had dropped the halter and lead and began walking around the paddock with apple slices, carrots, cubes, all the horse treats. i gave them to one of my other horses and she began to become interested. when she would come up to me i would give her some then walk somewhere else in the paddock. eventually she followed and i repeated it. now she gallops after me and waits patiently for a treat :) she enjoys coming to me now. but dont always use treats or they can get rude, pushy and forever expecting a treat, sometimes do scratches or just visit her. when she starts coming up to you bring out the halter and ta da, no more running away. now they come to you! hope this helps :)
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-28-2013, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Morgantown, KY
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No i haven't tried playing. She and her pasture mates keep walking away. I'm gunna let them get situated with their new surroundings. I guess. :(

And they somehow managed to pull the hook out of the gate so now they're outside the fence... and i have tried everything to put them back in :X though i dont think they'll go anywhere cause their mom didnt get out. Im assuming they'll stay near her as long as theres water and plenty of grass around.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-28-2013, 05:07 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Zealand
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My advice is to move slowly towards her, taking a meandering path, eyes somewhere else, and stopping often (as long as she stands still - if she moves away, follow). Only predators take a straight line towards their prey - with some sensitive horses, it can seem threatening, you making a beeline towards them. Stop when she stops, even back away a few steps. You're showing her that when she stands still, which is what you want, you'll take the pressure off.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will finally know peace." - Jimi Hendrix
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-28-2013, 06:33 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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When I got my horse I just turned him out with five others. I went to get him that afternoon and he was impossible to catch. In the end I caught every other horse but one slow one and moved them to another paddock. Then he was near the corner with the slower and I managed to get a rope around his neck and I had him.

I then put him in our roundyard and for the next day I'd go out every hour. Sometimes I'd just walk in, give him a carrot and then go. Other times I'd halter him and groom him, halter him and do some ground work, or take him out for a graze. Soon he would meet me at the fence because he was bored and wanted carrots. Then I turned him out in the arena (about 65x25m) and did it all again, then turned him out on 4 acres alone and did it again, then added another horse. Today he trotted over to me I came, sometimes he is at the gate, other times I have to go get him but it's never hard to catch him now.

So with your horse the best thing you can do is just have a lot of pleasant interactions with her. If possible put her in a small pen for a couple of days until she really knows you. To catch her initially you can do the approach and retreat, or sometimes catching and leading the others away will make her come over, or even taking the others out she might be keener to be caught. Also, something that occasionally works if the horse is just being a brat and not afraid is doing approach and retreat and then walking backwards to them. Some horses seem perplexed to see people moving towards them but not facing them and just stand there.
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