My two year old mare (Princess) is REALLY hard to catch :oops:. After I catch her she is perfect her groundwork is amazing! After she is caught she will follow me and do anything i want her to. She never spooks either. I can catch her if she is in an arena even if there are other horses loose with her. She is in a big pasture with other horses and to catch her I have to separate her from all the other horses and lunge her with out a halter all around the pasture then she will walk up to me. But I can not separate her from the other horses over night. How do I make her easy to catch.
The second she walk/trotted/cantered away from me i would chase her until she was sweating, hard. then turn around and wait for her to come to you. chase her through the herd, dont just cut her off from it, she wants to go to the herd, let her go to the herd, but the herd will be running too. dont let her rest or even slow to the walk. thats what i would do, its hard to tell from your post if you just cut her off from the herd or if you chase her through it. :)
I partly agree with ridergirl23. If she wants to do that then make sure she does until shes tired, tell her what that means to you, but if that doesnt work maybe you should try hiding the halter and lead rope and make her come to you with a little treat and reward her everytime she comes right to you.
I'm not big on 'chasing' - my horses are all much faster and fitter than me, and I can just see them having a ball and laughing at me trying to actually make them tired before I have a heart attack!
I prefer to 'work' my horses like a cow if they don't want to be caught. I become the cutting horse and my horse becomes the cow - I don't let the horse back to the herd, and I keep them where I want them by getting in front of the shoulder to turn them. I stick at a certain distance and don't move closer until they stop. So from maybe 5 metres away I will work them back and forth, with lots of changing direction. They usually get the idea prety quick and will stop and face up to you. When they do, I start to work toward them, but if they walk off, I just go back to working them.
Actually it is quite simple. (Horses are all different of course, so each one will take differing amounts of time to learn.)
The way you can teach a horse to come to you in the pasture can be taught with a round pen. (Or any enclosure.) Later you will move onto bigger enclosures. You want to teach the horse that when he/she is near you, they get to rest and don't have to work. Over time, if you lunge them and maintain respect, they will catch onto that fact. Don't let the horse turn away from you when lunging, have them turn into you, and let them rest if they look at you/ walk to you.
This will translate (after a few days) into larger areas. It's hard to describe it on here (it would take forever) but that is the general idea. Don't try to chase them around the pasture because they can get away from you, and rest. You don't want them to be able to stop and rest without you.
Yesterday it took me an hour and a half to catch her!!! She is fine in enclosed arenas or round pens, she will just walk up to me. The pasture is so big I can't keep her running. She doesn't care if I have treats or grain either. She thinks its a game. She will let me walk up to her and pet her then before I can get the halter on her, she trots away with her head up and then stops then does it again. Then finally she decides to let me catch her and she is calm and perfect!
When I first got my horse he was really bad for not letting me catch him.. I boarded at the same barn as my friend who has his sister (their a week apart) One day when we went to get them, while I was trying to catch him, my friend had the mare brought in.. and he got stressed out and took down the fence. but ANYWAY
I didn't continue to chase him, that would be just silly.. the field is HUGE. I would approach him, and if he would start to take off then I'd chase/jump at him.. and then stop and wait for him to stop.. then I would quietly approach him again, and if he would take off I'd do the same thing again until he would stay. It didn't take very long for him to figure out that it was either he came with me, or his field time wouldn't be so fun.
As a barn owner I can tell you the reason behind MOST hard to catch horses.
Work. Vet. Farrier.
Plain and simple.
Take some extra time with your horse once in a while. Bring them in and just groom and turn them back out.
I had the same thought as MLS, I'm just a horse owner/lover, nothing special, but my horses have always come running to me nickering, because it's fun to spend time with me and it's not always about working them, there are days when it's all about them. George, the horse I ride at the barn, who belongs to another lady, will come to me in the field and not her, and I don't generally bring treats to the field b/c of a food aggressive horse that lives with him.
On a side note..oooh how I love George!
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