Dire help is needed. My horse and a friends horse are kept in a pasture at my friends grandmas house. My friend has a 5-6 year old arab x. No matter what we do we cant catch him he just runs off with his head straight in the air and stands back and watches us. She got him barely halter broke and hasnt done much with him at all. Know that hes out in a 5 or so acre pasture he is uncatchable. He well not let you get near him when you have anything in your hands and hardly lets you near him at all. She has asked for help so I am wondering what tips you might have to help them out. Right know he is kept with three other horses and they kind of push him around. Two of the horses are leaving this weekend so it well only be my horse and my friends horse. So that might help with the catching the horse. I just don't know what else to do. He really frustrates me because he totally gets away with it and has learned that when he runs off that hes off the hook.
Well, you are gonna have to be extremely persistent with this guy! If you go out in the field, DONT COME BACK till you have the horse. I don't like leaving halters on horses when they get turned out because they could get hurt, but if you leave yours on then use it to your advantage. Take your lead rope and wrap it around your waist (disguised!). Once you catch him, hold his halter and just loveeee all over him. Rubs, not slaps please! Untie the rope and hook him up, then love on him some more. Bring him treats, let him graze. Walk him around a bit (not back to the barn), and then let him go. Make him realize that every time he's caught, it doesn't mean something bad. Do this a couple times a day and he may be easier to catch! Bring him back to the barn a few times and just groom him, nothing too stressful. Or, always catch him when you feed him. Don't let him eat unless he's on the end of a lead line. He will trust you more! Never punish him for being difficult to catch. I've heard of people slinging things at them when they start to run away because they "need to learn that running away means running till I say stop." Not the answer... I promise. Good luck!
Yah the sucky thing is the owner never does anything with him. you physically cant catch him. the farriers been out four times and he is still not had his feet done and they are bad...if u do manage to get a halter or leadrope around his neck he pulls back and gets loose and then is even harder to catch. i just dont see anyway this horse well get better or even caught for that matter
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Does he not respond to food as a lure?
Go out and give him small treats. He'll soon learn to associate you with treats and come to you. Slip his lead on while you slip him a snack. Wait a while before slipping on a his lead so he associates you with a snack, not a lead. After a while you won't have to give him treats but you should once in awhile to reinforce the trick.
Maybe not the best way but it works.
I agree mostly with the above advice, but considering this is an untrained new horse, I'd tend to slow it down a lot more. I imagine there's likely to be a fair bit of fear in there, causing his behaviour, not just skepticism on whether your friend's nice or not....
I agree that you need to budget for taking however long it takes, to 'win' something, even if the first time that just means allowing you to get reasonably close to him, because every time he runs away & you leave him, he thinks 'phew, I managed to escape' and his attitude & behaviour will become stronger, more confirmed each time. To make things easier, is there a small paddock or large yard you can herd him into? If not, a few electric fence tread ins and some tape(no need to buy a unit & connect it for this purpose) shouldn't break the bank. Then you can section off a corner of the paddock - say about 1/4 acre, big enough for him not to feel too trapped - and work in there, to make it easier for you. If even getting him in this area is difficult, luring him in with your horse & a bucket of food should work, so long as you keep your distance.
I disagree with hiding or otherwise trying to disguise ropes, etc. Horses may not have anything like our kind of intelligence, but they're not stupid and don't tend to take too well to 'shifty' behaviour, so I'd be out in the open about everything, have that leadrope dangling from your outstretched hand, but work on the premise of 'making the Right things easy'. That means working in baby steps & reinforcing every 'Right' move, no matter how small to begin with.
I agree with not waving anything at him or trying to push him while he's going away from you... for now, except in so far as I describe below. I think that can be a really helpful step for teaching a horse to turn & face you & to come to you from a distance(eg 'Joinup'), but the primary Good & Trusting relationship has to be established first. Doing it now, if he's nervous of people already, will likely just make him more so. So go his pace & take the time it takes. This will indeed likely be a bit(or a lot, depending on the horse) tedious the first couple of sessions, but will pay off after that.
So, I would begin by walking quietly around so I was near the front of the horse, but still at a distance, so to approach him directly. I would stand there until he looked at me before beginning to approach. I would approach only a step or few(depending on how flighty he is) before turning away(negatively reinforcing him by removing the pressure of my focus). I'd repeat this process over & over, either around the same distance for a while or gradually getting closer each step, depending on his behaviour. Eg. you want to watch him closely & try to stop & turn away before he feels he has to. Depending on his behaviour, I may just stop & turn or I may even actually walk away.
No matter how well or otherwise things are going, keep 'sessions' short & sweet, so after a few minutes, quit on whatever good note you get & walk away from him completely for a minute or so before starting again.
If/when it gets too much for him & he walks away from you, just calmly follow after him. Don't hurry, even if he starts to trot & get ahead. Just keep following him until he shows the slightest inclination to hesitate - he probably won't actually stop & turn to you at this point, but if you reinforce his smallest 'tries', he'll soon cotton on that the way to get you to quit hassling him is to stop.
Now eventually(could be a few minutes, could be an hour or so...) you'll get to within a couple of feet of him like this. At that point, I'd stretch my hand out for him to sniff, preferably with a carrot or such, then as soon as he does, turn & walk away. I wouldn't try to touch him until you've done this a fair number of times at least and he's comfortable with you being there(the carrot will encourage this!). Go about getting him to be confident with your touch, and touching him with a halter/rope in the same manner - don't just grab his halter & 'love on him' - that may be his idea of a nightmare, not enjoyment. Unless absolutely necessary(eg veterinary emergency) ensure you don't do anything he perceives as unpleasant with/to him until after a fair few sessions, he is confident & willing of you approaching & catching him.
Anyway, that's how I tend to do it. Never had it take longer than a few good sessions(for very nervous or damaged horses), but I do tend to follow up by having them in that small paddock to be caught for a while and ensuring I only catch them to give them treats & scratchies, until they solidly believe me to be a really Good Thing in their life & can't wait to come when they see me.
I would ensure you had him in a small enclosure, pen or such(elect tape may not cut it for this step) and had a long rope the first time you actually tie/clip a halter or lead on him. That way, you can let the rope slide, but it's long enough that he can't escape or come up against the pressure of it, before he gets to the edge of the pen. That way you can get him used to just wearing it, then yielding to the pressure of it, while still in a safe, controlled environment.
hi, i'm new to this chat room thing but i've been working with horses a lonnng time. if possible isolate the horse from the other horses in a smaller area. then spend time in there with him. set quietly. read, sunbathe, do homework anything that keeps your attention off of him. horses are curious animals and he will start coming closer to see what you are doing. they are also herd animals and will form a attachments with other animals if there are no other horses around. dogs, goats or you if you are all there is to be buddies with.
I agree that you need to budget for taking however long it takes, to 'win' something, even if the first time that just means allowing you to get reasonably close to him, because every time he runs away & you leave him, he thinks 'phew, I managed to escape' and his attitude & behaviour will become stronger, more confirmed each time.
I totally agree but he is not really food associated and he is already at that stage where he is winning the game because no one actually sticks it out to take the time to catch him. But as stated he isn't going to get better cuz the owner does nothing with him and then whines that she does'nt have a horse to ride and that she cant handle her horse. Under saddle he bucks at random times for no reason.
Well then, if his owner won't take the time to work with him it's her own fault that he's such a heathen, and she needs to shut up and quit whingeing.
B I N G O
and I agree with the other posts, too
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