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Chloe16251 07-28-2012 03:29 PM

Need him to come to the gate when called?
Anyone have any helpful hints? I'm trying to get him to come up to the gate so I dont have to keep running in to his pasture to get him. Also he was foundered before I got him so I cant bribe him with treats...

usandpets 07-28-2012 03:38 PM

Using treats is ok. Just don't give him a lot. Carrots and apples work as treats too.

Go out and call his name. If needed, go out and get him. Once he's at the gate and haltered, give him a treat. Turn him away and chase him off. Call him again and retrieve him if you have to. Give a treat at the gate. Rinse and repeat. Do it a few times a day. He'll only be getting a few treats so it shouldn't be a problem. After a few days, he'll probably meet you at the gate without having to even call him. Once the habit is formed, you can stop giving the treats if you want.
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themacpack 07-28-2012 04:00 PM

"Treats" don't have to be tons of sugar, sweet feed, commercial treats, etc -- a handful of grass from the other side of the fence is a huge treat for our horses - in fact, they come to the gate any time they are called for nothing more than that. A piece of a grass hay cube (available at most feed stores) or handful of grass hay pellets, a small piece of carrot/apple, etc can be a treat as well. You can also look at "treats" as being more than just food -- a good scratch in his favorite spot, a few minutes of extra attention, etc can be a treat to your horse too. It is just about building that positive association.

HagonNag 07-28-2012 05:08 PM

Make sure that there are times that you call him up and do absolutely nothing that resembles work. Groom him, give him treats, hand graze him, give scratchies, do anything you want..but don't climb on his back, don't put him in the round pen. If he learns that calling him up will only mean work, he won't be really thrilled about coming. Make being with you the place he WANTS to be.

bellagris 07-28-2012 06:41 PM

We whistle and our horses come running. If you can get in a routine where they are fed when they come up they'll come without fail. Or just give them a treat for coming -i know many people are adverse to treats, but we have always found that the horses come whenever called if they are rewarded for it. Saves a lot of trekking :p
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AlexS 07-29-2012 02:06 AM

I really think that a horse coming when called is more about the relationship that you have with the horse than anything that's trained or taught.

I've always boarded my horse, so I don't feed. I also don't treat my horse, other than scratches on his neck. And yet he always comes to me when I call him.

New_image 07-29-2012 10:46 AM

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I tend to ride multiple horses a day so if I call the whole herd up eventually they stop all running up! At feed time I yell "C'mon guys!" and the whole herd comes. But for any other time my horses come to their names. They tend to enjoy our time together and when they hear their name they know its time for a treat, a grooming and maybe a ride :)

I agree, I think a lot of it has to do with the bond you have. You can also get an equally good response with treats as others have suggested. Horses ARE if nothing else, food motivated.

Palomine 07-29-2012 01:38 PM

Some of this depends on horse too. Some like to come up, others don't.

Small amount of feed each time, just a handful, won't hurt.

bellagris 08-16-2012 05:09 PM

If my mare can see me and isnt out at the back of the pasture, sure she will come because I am her person, and she knows her name. But it is definitely a side benefit to have them trained to come to a loud whistle and reward them for it, our horses associate whistle with come in, feed time -but sometimes they just get a cookie (as you do in some way with any command - rewards can be pets, treats, whatever really) because when they're way out there (we have about a 10 acre pasture) a whistle is easiest :)

HarleyWood 08-16-2012 05:21 PM

i dont bribe, my horses come into the barn when im out or they are in their already. My two boys see me as their person and come when called they know their names and they gets alfelfa cubes every once and a while.

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