How to Train Horses to Come When in the Pasture

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How to Train Horses to Come When in the Pasture

This is a discussion on How to Train Horses to Come When in the Pasture within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What to do with a horse that runs from you in the pasture
  • Training a horse to come to you

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    02-21-2012, 04:21 PM
How to Train Horses to Come When in the Pasture

I don't know if you train horses to, or if they just pick up on it, but I want to know how you get your horse to come to you while in the pasture. My horse will eighther stare at me, sometimes he will run away, or he will hide behind another horse, and when I'm on one side of the horse, he's on the other, and when I switch sides, he does too. I want to know how to get him to come to me, I usually bring treats with me, but the best he does is take one or two steps... or he will not come at all. I don't know if he is just being stubborn, doesnt want to work or if he just doesnt like me. If you could please clear this up for me.
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    02-21-2012, 04:49 PM
I don't require my lease horse to come to me, but he darn well better not run away from me, not on the 40 acre pasture!

There are loads of threads here with info on "how to catch a horse" or "problems catching horse". Do a search, it's a goldmine.
    02-21-2012, 08:22 PM
I had a similar problem with my mare I got a couple of months ago - she would walk to about 50 paces and stare at me. I'd go to her and she'd pull away if I tried to pet her or put a halter on. I went to her the first few times, calling her name as I went, but when she'd turn away I would too and would walk around the field, greeting the other mares. Then I would come back to her before I left.

Now we're at the point she comes to the gate when she sees me approach, or comes to me once I'm in, without having her name called. And she chases the other mares off if they come near me...maybe it worked too well - I'm property now.

Oh - another thing I did was short-distance recall. I stood a couple of paces away, tapped my chest, called her name, and rewarded her when she came to me. I extended the distance every so often. Seems to have worked well.
    02-21-2012, 09:23 PM
Interesting subject I'm going to tune in! I have the same issue, althought it means sometimes my happy butt has to trudge in shin high mudd to get my mare! Gr! I have only owned her for about 3 months.
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    02-21-2012, 11:33 PM
We stand at the gate with a white bucket of grain and shake it...once the horses come and are haltered, they get a bite. It might not be the best method, but the white bucket is responsible for saving a run away. I hauled a teenage girl and her leased horse from our farm to a 4-H ride and the horse slipped away. Thanks to my husband's very quick thinking, he grabbed a white bucket from the trailer that had a couple of brushes in it and shook it, just as the horse was making a run for the road. The horse heard the rattle, saw the white bucket and turned and walked up to him like he does in the pasture every day.

Yeah, we call it the bribery bucket, but whenever a horse gets out of their stall, pulls away from a handler, etc, the bucket comes out, and the horse only gets the grain when they are back where they belong (stall, hitching rail, etc.).
    02-21-2012, 11:40 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Fowl Play    
Yeah, we call it the bribery bucket, but whenever a horse gets out of their stall, pulls away from a handler, etc, the bucket comes out, and the horse only gets the grain when they are back where they belong (stall, hitching rail, etc.).
We have a grain scoop, you rattle some feed in it and ALL the horses, loose or not come running. 'Course I'm evil and when all the horses got out and I couldn't get to the feed room because of milling, loose horses, I conned them all back into their stalls by rattling a rock in a grain scoop.

Lady I board with always calls the horses names at dinner time.... couple months of that and now if you yell a name, the thundering of hooves... and OMG you going to feed us right!!??
Wallaby likes this.
    02-22-2012, 07:46 AM
Cool! Lucky RVT congrats on your new horse! I hope you have a good long time with her. Ill do the search on catching your horse.
    02-22-2012, 08:10 AM
We have a woman at the barn who trained her mini's to come when she holds her hand out to the side and says a word "here". I think she used treats to train them but it helped when once they got out of their fenced in area and took off down the neighborhood. Since one of her neighbors had watched her train her mini's to this command, she was able to go out and round up the escapees with no problem.

Sonny comes to me when I whistle but I did it with no treats but with plenty of petting and "good boy". I would start out with just a few feet between us and hold my hand out and whistle and when he came, I loved him up. I increased the distance over a few days and eventually, led him into a field by himself, let him go and then whistled for him to come to me. When he did, I loved him up. I haven't tried it yet with other horse grazing because it's been too muddy to let anyone out but I am hoping his training will make him much easier to catch. Good luck :)
    02-22-2012, 08:17 AM
I don't/won't bribe mine to come in. I "walk them down". Start in a smaller pasture or pen, with ones I get in that are hard to catch - I start in a small (1 acre) lot. If they don't want to be caught, drive them away and make them move. Give them a chance to stop and turn to you & come in, if they choose not, move them some more. Eventually it will click that coming to you is a lot less work than not. Be prepared, the first time or two you will be doing a lot of walking. ;)
myQHpaul and WildAcreFarms like this.
    02-22-2012, 06:26 PM
My horses come to a specific whistle. I started every time I fed I would whistle this little tune to let them know I was coming, now I can use the tune any time and they all come to see if they might get fed. I see nothing wrong with treating them for coming either, a little positive reinforcement can be very useful.

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