How to Train Horses to Come When in the Pasture - Page 2
 
 

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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
  • How to train a horse you cant catch in the pasture
  • How to train a horse to come when in the pasture

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    02-22-2012, 07:35 PM
  #11
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters    
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. ;)
This is the ideal situation. They should just come to you, but unfortunately not everyone who brings horses in from turn-out at our barn is willing to do this. I am grateful that they know the white bucket though, because it did stop the horse I mentioned from running into the road.

In an ideal world, we'd always have enough time to school a horse when they misbehaved, they'd all come when they're called, and it'd be great. When you're dealing with 20 horses (10 which are boarders who have various degrees of training) however, time is always short and the fastest and easiest way is usually the way we go.
     
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    02-22-2012, 08:17 PM
  #12
Showing
^ Most definitely in that situation. I have 15ish around here most of the time (11 of my own) and I don't work anywhere but in my barn (and no boarders), so I'm fortunate to have the time.
Fowl Play likes this.
     
    02-24-2012, 04:12 PM
  #13
Foal
Quote:
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.
This is exactly what I would do. Eventualy I could stand on my back porch and whistle and every one would come to the fence and nicker at me. Logan never really got the hang of it because I boarded him and just never enforced it.
Had my herd of minis get out one day when I had them and just had to whistle and every one came back *phew*
     
    02-24-2012, 04:21 PM
  #14
Weanling
My mare has developed the charming habit of running from me in the field. If I'm in a hurry, I bring a bucket with oats in it.

If I have time to kill, I walk her down. If I'm walking straight toward her, she has a tendencyo to dart to one side, so I also side-step in that direction to cut her off. I'll raise my hands if she's close and she'll either stop and let me catch her, or she'll double back and dart the other way. Sometimes, this game continues on for 20+ minutes, but most times, she usually gives up within a 5 minutes. As soon as I catch and halter her, I scratch and rub her in the places she loves the most. Some days, I'll go out there without a single intention to do anything with her. I'll catch her, scratch her and turn her loose. That way, she won't learn to associate me with just work. Other times, I'll catch her and we'll go for a walk. Again, she learns that I don't just catch her to make her work.

Whatever you do, never start the walking down process and quit. That just teaches them that they won't have to work if they can avoid you and it'll be even harder to catch them the next time.
     
    02-25-2012, 12:18 AM
  #15
Foal
Quote:
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.
Quote:

If I have time to kill, I walk her down. If I'm walking straight toward her, she has a tendencyo to dart to one side, so I also side-step in that direction to cut her off. I'll raise my hands if she's close and she'll either stop and let me catch her, or she'll double back and dart the other way. Sometimes, this game continues on for 20+ minutes, but most times, she usually gives up within a 5 minutes. As soon as I catch and halter her, I scratch and rub her in the places she loves the most. Some days, I'll go out there without a single intention to do anything with her. I'll catch her, scratch her and turn her loose. That way, she won't learn to associate me with just work. Other times, I'll catch her and we'll go for a walk. Again, she learns that I don't just catch her to make her work.

Whatever you do, never start the walking down process and quit. That just teaches them that they won't have to work if they can avoid you and it'll be even harder to catch them the next time.
This is what I've done with my girls! I live in the middle of National forest (no people). On nice days we will often let our horses loose on the property to graze and stretch out their legs. When we started this -my horses were a bit hard to catch. They're like "WOO HOO!! WE'RE LOOSE!!! NEE NER NEE NER NEEEEE NER!!!" Running around, dodging you from catching them.

What I began doing is before they even saw the treat I would start to whistle. I'd whistle for a 10-15 seconds. Then I would shake the treat bucket. When they'd come running I'd let them have their treats. While they were eating their treats, I would continue to whistle and praise them up BIG TIME! An "atta girl!", a quick rub and then I'd leave them be to run around again. It wasn't before long before I'd whistle and BAM! Heads would shoot up, they'd give me that "REALLY?! " look and they coming running at a gallop. Make sure they RESPECT YOUR SPACE! At all times! You don't want them charging up and plowing you over for that bucket. Now when my girls come running I hold up an extended open hand and say "Easy!" At about 20 ft. Away they slow to a trot, then the last few feet they approach me at a gentle walk. It's great, they will stray quite a ways away now grazing (I can't see or hear them anywhere). I let out a few loud whistles (my dad taught me how) and in few minutes they'll come rolling into the yard full steam ahead! **As said before, start with a short distance and then increase the distance.

It sounds like there may be other horses in the pasture too with your horse. This will make it hard to just teach your horse to come. I would start in an arena or pen just the two of you and work on the re-call. Then hopefully it will carry over to the pasture. Also walking up and putting the halter on, loving on them, then letting them go is a great thing too. I had to do this quite a bit with my horses because with being 100% they were very sketchy about you walking up to them for fear you were going to catch them and throw them back in the coral!

Good luck! :)
     
    02-25-2012, 08:38 AM
  #16
Trained
I don't make my horse run up to the gate to meet me in the pasture. Don't get me wrong when its freezing cold or super muddy it could be nice, but its not that hard to walk out there and catch her. When I get with in about 20-30 paces of her I have her walk up to me, but out of my personal space. Then I either invite her to me [by asking her to kiss haha] or take the last step up to her.

A lady at my barn has her horse run in when she's calls him, but its so hilly here he got a bunch of huge splints on his forelegs.
     
    02-25-2012, 08:51 AM
  #17
Foal
I taught mine by using a lunge line. We started small, in the round pen. I'd let him go the full length of the rope, and then I'd whistle and gently tug the lunge til and sort of reel him in. Then after a few sessions of that (and lots of good boys, etc when he came).. I let him off the lunge and had him come to me (still in the round pen). Then we moved to the arena, and then a paddock, and then to the field. Now, even if he's eating his grain or something, I whistle and he stops whatever he is doing to come see me. Sometimes he gets treats, or a brushing, or a bath (which he adores) or we go work. He likes to work.. so that is a big treat for him.

He was never really hard to catch (he never evaded me really), but I hated having to slog through mud or snow or anything to go out in the pasture to get him.
     
    02-25-2012, 09:16 AM
  #18
Yearling
When I first got my horse, he was fine, but then he would never come unless I had a carrot with me. It became incredibly frustrating and rude and I didnt know what to do as hed run away, hide behind the other horse and turn away etc. I didnt know how to get him to start coming up but when we moved him out to a new aggistment we were able to snap him into line.
Horses love routine. So I go out every afternoon around 4-4.30 and he will be either halfway up the paddock or he will be near the gate. When he's halfway down the paddock he can see the start of the property where a cattle grid is and it makes noise when you drive over it and as soon as we drive over that his head shoots up, he recognises our car and starts walking towards his gate. He gets food everyday though so that ecnourages him
     
    03-01-2012, 01:20 PM
  #19
Foal
There's got to be some reason that a horse doesn't like to be caught. If their owner does the same thing after catching them every time, such as saddling up and riding, sure, they're not going to want to be caught. I have days where I "catch" her, bring her in, brush her, hand graze her on the really good grass, then let her go back out. Make being caught an indication that something good might happen! I very rarely use a treat to catch her, and I would never walk into a pasture full of horses with a bucket of grain. If you have to bribe your horse to be caught, maybe something in your routine needs to change to make being caught a good experience. It's a really cool feeling when your horse shows that they want to be with you!

I've never had a problem with her running away. In fact, when I'm a few feet away, she starts walking herself to the gate right next to me without me having to halter her or anything. Then I put her halter on and carry on with what I was going to do.
     
    03-03-2012, 12:02 AM
  #20
Weanling
I think maybe some horses just don't like being caught. I have owned my horse 9 months now, shortly after I bought him I had a bad accident and haven't been riding him. Every day, sometimes several times a day I go out to his paddock and call him, once in a blue moon he will come but most often he will just look at me. If I go out with treats he will let me get close enough to give him the treat then he backs away, and then I have to walk him down. He gives up after maybe 10 minutes and lets me catch him. I always make it pleasent, going for walks, feeding treats, grooming, sometimes just haltering him and giving him a treat and then removing the halter and letting him go. Once he is haltered he has impecable ground manners , he just doesn't seem to like getting caught.
     

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