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SonnyWimps 08-10-2008 04:50 PM

running away in the field...
Okay this JUST started on Thursday...never before had a problem with catching him.

On Thursday he wouldn't stand still for me to catch him. I did nothing abnormally but he kept walking or trotting away from me. Each time I did I'd whirl the lead rope around and make him go (thinking that if I made him work that he'd let me catch him) but again he wouldn't. Finally I took Hannah (the horse that he is in with) and lead her around and then he let me catch him.

And the other day he was bad also, but again after I lead Hannah around he was okay (though he did not look happy lol).

Today I didn't have that much of a problem, but he still wanted to go away from me.

I've done work in the arena and so on with him, it's JUST when hes in the field that he won't come (or let me catch him).

Is it wrong to give him a treat each and every time he lets me? I've been carrying horse cookies in the pasture with me and I'll make him follow me. And every 10-20 steps I'll stop, and give him a cookie. Or I'll give him one right before I put the lead rope in and so on. Is that something I shouldn't be doing?

I don't know what has really gotten into him lately.

If I let him loose in the arena, and go to catch him, he's fine he'll stand....

Any ideas on what could be bothering him? Other ways of teaching him it's a GOOD thing to come to me or at least stand still lol?

girl_on_black_pony 08-10-2008 04:58 PM

You could try catching him and just taking him out to eat grass. Not just riding him every time you take him out.
Here is my method if that doesnt work:
When he runs away, twirl the lead and make him run. When he stops, go after him slowly. Put your hand out. Make sure your shoulders arent square to him; this is the predator's position. He should have an ear on you. When he looks like he is about to move away, or his ear comes off of you, take a few steps back (relieving the pressure). If he doesnt move, and puts an ear back on you, take another step TO him. So on, so forth. But if you step back and he still moves away, make him run. Just make sure he doesnt have that long of a break between running and you re-approaching him.

Hope this helps. Message me for more info, if needed.
*Clinton Anderson Method

SonnyWimps 08-10-2008 05:05 PM

well normally I'll take him out, do a tiny bit of groundwork on him and than put him in a stall and give him some grain (a reward...the ammount depends on how good he was but he always gets some even if he was realllllly bad)
Then I'll take him to the arena (or roundpen) and just let him do what he wants to do (if he wants to trot, we trot...if he wants to stand by the gate we do that) and then we go and do work. Now I try as much as possible to get new patterns and try new things with him so he's not bored...and afterwards I usually hose him off and let him munch on grass (in a halter) while I have a drink.

I'm thinking that maybe he is associating me with having to Monday I'm going to take him out of the field, and just sit with him and let him munch on some grass and groom him...then put him back......and then take him out and let him munch on some grain...and so on. And possibly at the end ride him but probably won't

I mean I'm okay if I have to give him a treat each time I catch him....but I wasn't sure if it's something that he might expect a treat 24/7 from me

girl_on_black_pony 08-10-2008 05:10 PM

I wouldnt advise feeding after workouts, expecially as a reward.
ONE: he could become barnsour. He may think [okay, go to the barn, get unsaddled, then have my grain! YAY!]
TWO: He has no idea that it is a reward. If he did goo, immediatly pet him after the thing he did that was good. For punishment, punish right after the bad thing happened.

Its okay to give treats, but pet him or say 'goodboy' when the treat is given, so soon you can just say 'goodboy' and he will know its a reward because he associates it with the reward of the treat :)

SonnyWimps 08-10-2008 05:59 PM

well he's never gotten barn sour and I make sure he'll walk up to the barn, turn aorund and walk away, and backup from the barn and so on
He's always gotten grain after I ride him (sometimes 30 minutes after if we had a hard workout) and he hasn't become barn sour yet.

I do pet him when he does good, but I'm just kinda confused on why he is being hard to catch....

girl_on_black_pony 08-10-2008 06:05 PM

Are there any other horses on the property? He may want to hang with them. Maybe hes just tired of work. You do give him breaks?

SonnyWimps 08-10-2008 06:22 PM

there are 32 horses on the property...but it's only in a field with one of them.

I do give him breaks...normally I'll go up two days in a row and then he'll get 2 days off..but he's been getting alot more days off since the weather has been sooooo rainy

Checkers 08-10-2008 06:35 PM

One of my friends had this problem with her horse Faith.
Faith just wanted stop running away. So I suggested that she put Faith in a small pen for a while till she learns to let people catch her. (but of couse know one listens to me. so she waited it her tainer told her to do it then she put Faith in a smaller pen) *sigh* But anyway. So she did end up putting Faith in a smaller pen so she couldnt run as far. It worked wonders on that mare because she learned she couldnt get away with it.

Checkers (my horse) has never ran away from me...Shes allways been a good lil mare and let me catch her and sometimes if I call her name shes walk up to me.

But, for the horses that i have seen do that. Its not a good idea to make them work in the pasture like that. (swinging the lead around to make them go) because then they will end up being afraid to come near you, thinking if they do that will have to work or might be in trouble in so way.
Using Hannah to get him to come to the barn (or where ever you are leading Hannah to to get your horse) isnt the best idea either, because if you keep doing that, and Hannah isnt there one of those days for what ever reason, then you wont be able to catch him.
Giving him a treat every time he comes for a few days is fine. But i wouldnt give him more then one. Pet him instead. (After all you dont want to spoil him to much) =]

Take your time with him.

By making him work that one day, probly made him a little scarred to come to you again.
Just wait, a couple days and he should be fine.

SonnyWimps 08-10-2008 06:42 PM

my instructor said to make him work if he won't come and I'm not chasing him around or anything...I just swing the lead rope as I would if I'm doing the Circle Game with him (if I didn't have my carrot stick) and he knows to go.
I don't think he'd doing it because he's afriad of me, for if he was then why would be be fine in the arena (which is just as big as his pasture) and let me catch him.

I know the last place I boarded him, he was by himself, so maybe he doesn't want me to put him by himself? I'm not sure

I only use Hannah as a last resort if he still won't come. I'm trying as much as possible to have him to come to me.

If I do get up and able to touch him, I can and he'll let me it's just when I go to put the halter then on that he takes off again. Normally he'll walk off for the first time, then let me approach him and pet him, but not get the halter on him.

He's not afraid of the halter for i can toss it over him, underhim, etc with no problems at all

SonnyWimps 08-10-2008 08:51 PM

would you consider him "herd bound"? Or what about "buddy sour"?

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