uncatchable horse? - Page 3

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uncatchable horse?

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    05-30-2013, 03:31 PM
One thing that hasn't really been mentioned but is very important in catching a horse is your BODY LANGUAGE.

Chris Cox just had an excellent episode on RFD-TV a week or two ago about catching a hard-to-catch horse.

As someone else already said, bring in the other 3 horses to a smaller corral. She should follow. Then one by one, let the other horses back out into the pasture. Tah-dah! She's in a smaller pen that you can work with.

Rather than making her run with no rhythm or reason, what you are doing when you force her to move her feet is that you want her EYES to look at you. The very instant she looks at you, stop chasing her and let her look at you. If she looks away, then make her move again until she looks at you.

You should never stand facing the horse with your shoulders square to her. This is confrontational. You should always angle your shoulders one way or the other so they aren't directly pointing squarely at her.

Also, when you get to the point where you can attempt to approach her, don't try to sneak up to her, but also don't stomp your way to her. Just walk normal and relaxed, as you normally would. (Remember to never square your shoulders to her.) But please note it may be a long time before you attempt to approach her. You always want her to approach YOU first, which you will accomplish if you keep demanding she keeps her eyes on you.

If she does eventually approach you, turn your back and walk away. The more you make her think you do not want to catch her, the more she is going to WANT you to catch her. Trying to quickly grab her or quickly yank on the halter is going to do more harm than good. WHen you finally get to the point where you halter her, she shouldn't move a step away from you. If she does, go back to making her move her feet until she keeps her eye on you.
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    05-30-2013, 04:25 PM
Originally Posted by corgi    
I just wanted to give you some hope. When I bought my horse last year, we went through a terrible phase where she would refuse to be caught. It was awful. Everytime I walked up to her, she would run away. I would get so frustrated.
I would eventually give up and she would win.

One day, I decided she wasn't going to win anymore. I followed her all over the field. Sometimes I ran after her, most of the time I just walked. It took about 40 minutes, but eventually she got tired of running away from me and wanted to rest.

That was the last time she ran away from me.

Since then, we have reached the point where she comes when I call her. I think she had been associating me with work. So, I started letting her out once or twice a week to just graze on the better grass outside the arena. Or, I would bring her out just to groom her. Sometimes I just brought her out and sat in a chair beside her as she grazed.

I soon found if I entered her field and called her name, wherever she was, her head would come up and she would look for me. I acknowledged that with a very excited voice. She seems to like my excited voice....some horses may not, but she knows I am happy when I use that voice. So, I called her...kind of like you would call a dog and she came running.

She comes every single time I call her now. She knows when she reaches me she gets a rub and a hug and she knows there is good grass outside her pasture fence. She has no issues leaving her buddies to come and be with me.

If you had told me over a year ago that we would be at this point, I never would believe it.

Here is a video of her running to me this winter. Like I said, the voice I use isn't for everybody but it works for her!

Isabella comes running - YouTube
I have a very similar video of my horse doing the same thing, but it's on facebook so I couldn't share :( Soo cute!
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    05-30-2013, 04:29 PM
Ahh, yeah she just started having this problem so I dunno why ! But everyone's input is definitely appreciated!
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    05-30-2013, 04:38 PM
Oh, so many times I've had to repeat this. You need to walk your horse down. When you enter the field have your halter and lead on your left elbow in plain sight. Circle way around behind the horse and don't look it it but a quick glance. Your interest is elsewhere, a far tree, a bird. When you are directly behind her approach at the walk and move your hands like you are shooing chickens. Keep your energy low so she doesn't run far. It is important you stand for a few moments on the spot where she was standing. Horses do this all the time. Again circle around and move her. As you continue to do this she will decide she'd rather keep an eye on you and she'll make it harder for you to get behind her. This is what you want. She has to watch you with both eyes. One means she's looking for the door. When she will watch you stand still. If she turns to her left immediately turn your head to your left (opposite direction). This will draw her back. If she cocks an ear in one direction take a step back as she's thinking of leaving. If she does turn to leave, immediately do the same in the opposite direction. This encourages her to not go far and she may turn to watch you as you turn to her. Lean forward a little and extend your right hand, fingers down to extend a horse greeting. Look at her nose or knees. If she approaches and touches your hand, back up a couple of steps, turn your back and walk away. She may follow. This action has removed all the pressure on her. If she follows, move to her neck and give her a rub. Let her smell the halter then take it away. Use your hand to groom her a little then slide the lead over her neck as you continue to rub her. She should allow you to halter her so do so and immediately remove it and leave. If she continues to follow you, do as you did before, grooming, haltering and removal. The third time bring her out and feed her, groom her and put her back. You have just made this a pleasant experience.
    05-30-2013, 04:42 PM
Green Broke
If she was catchable before and has just started doing this, she may be relating being caught to having to work.

What is your routine with her? Do you always catch her, work her and then turn her out? Is she the only horse in their pasture that YOU catch? If so, she may know that when you come out, you are coming just for her.

Change her routine up. Sometimes just catch her to hand graze her. Walk out in the pasture with the halter and lead rope to not catch her but just rub on her. Catch her just to groom her. Don't just catch her to work her.

Food is a great tool you can use. DO NOT bring food to the pasture. Use it as a reward for being caught and working for you. Give her a "snack" just before you turn her back out.
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    05-31-2013, 10:43 AM
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    05-31-2013, 11:03 AM
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    05-31-2013, 01:52 PM
Originally Posted by barebackbeautyqueen    
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Don't you love autocorrect?
    05-31-2013, 04:11 PM
Green Broke
Catch the other 3 horses and put them up where the hard to catch horse cannot see them (but can hear them if they make noise).

Horses HATE to be alone and usually that is the ticket.

Walking a horse down works. I have done it. Problem is you have to do it every time for awhile. Then you have to do it, catch the horse, feed the horse and turn them loose. IOW's you make a horse hard to catch by catching them and working them every time. You make a horse easy to catch if you catch them, feed them something good and maybe groom them, and then turn them loose.

Horse never knows if he is going to work or not but does know he will always get something good to eat.
    05-31-2013, 05:07 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Elana    
Catch the other 3 horses and put them up where the hard to catch horse cannot see them (but can hear them if they make noise).

Horses HATE to be alone and usually that is the ticket.
In theory and some cases it might work. Usually, it will make things worse. Especially with an already hard to catch horse. It causes them to run around like a nutcase.
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