Catching a horse - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 28 Old 10-12-2016, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avna View Post
Even if this works (kind of doubtful as you need a well-developed relationship with your horse to start out with), I wouldn't advise it. Mainly because getting angry always has a bad effect on me and on my immediate future actions and thoughts. Even if I am already prepared to completely drop it as soon as the animal complies, which I can do after many years of practice. Still leaves a shadow.

I'd rather cheerfully change up the game to something he doesn't like and then cheerfully change that game back to the one I originally intended. Animals pick up your mood.
I think that's why my horse stops and waits, he knows the boss mare is ticked off and he'd better comply. True enough though, your horse must know you well before this will work, I am sure if I chased after a strange horse swearing loudly, the horse wouldn't stop and put his head down with the expression "Uh oh, she's mad, no more fooling around". However, using food to bribe a horse is fine in my books. Whatever works.
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post #22 of 28 Old 10-12-2016, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
I have one horse that used to come to me no matter what. Now that he's older, if he sees the trailer hooked up, he runs away. I hotfoot it after him, when I get closer and he sees I am fuming, he reluctantly stands til I get him, I give him treats, the little escape lasts about 5 minutes, sometimes less, depends how quickly I get mad and he senses it. I don't know, maybe get mad at him for running away from you and be happy when he doesn't and reward that.
Lol at this. I don't know if the last lines apply to the OP but agree with what you're saying, it's so true!

My horses are great to catch. My one gelding used to have some big issues, well he just has issues in general XD. At this point in time I WON'T chase him around like crazy the way I used to, but he's also accepted I will catch him eventually. It wouldn't be dignified if I caught him easily though, he needs to make a point.. so we compromise- he "leaves" and "runs away" for maybe 15-30 seconds, then stops and I catch him...or even just handle him loose lol.

I mean, that has nothing to do with this thread and I'm not trying to say it's ok for a horse to do that. As I said, my gelding has issues. Just the post cracked me up :)

A great point overall, but you need to have respect from your horse for that to work.
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post #23 of 28 Old 10-13-2016, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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His training is actually wonderful. Always end on a good note. Once he's in the round pen he does, or tries to do, everything that's asked of him. He picks things up fairly quickly and retains new knowledge well. Except. If you stand back (like from the middle of the 60' round pen to the edge) and tell him quietly he's a good boy, he licks his lips and watches you. If you move towards him to give him a pat or a treat, he gets antsy. He is the oddest horse! If I stand there with my hand out (empty) and look away from him, he'll sneak up and sniff my hand. If I hold out my hand while looking at him he backs off no matter how far away I am. But in training, he'll turn to face me and stand there looking at me while I look at him. It's like unless he's working he doesn't want to be noticed.

When we first started working with him in the round pen, he did great about being caught for the first week or so, and then it was back to the same old antics. Maybe, since he does learn quickly, we need to step up the pace a little? Keep him engaged instead of getting bored?

Definitely going to try the keep him moving thing this weekend when Raven goes to the trainers. We're also taking him to a clinic that day so maybe being around other horses will help him not be so shy. Not going to give up on him, he's just too young for me to resign myself to him being another eating pooping pasture ornament.....
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post #24 of 28 Old 10-13-2016, 04:01 PM
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No reason to even think about giving up on him. The horses like that are the best imo, you just have to learn to work with them instead of vice versa.

Everything in your post just reinforces what I said, it's not at all about him being shy or anything. Don't over think it.

Think about what YOU are doing and stop worrying about him. And remember the "all or nothing", if you're going to do something do it.
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post #25 of 28 Old 10-14-2016, 03:33 PM
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If he doesn't like being looked at, don't look at him. I learned a long time ago to mind my eyes around animals. A direct stare is a threat posture for almost all animals. Including us. Dominant animals use it to tell subordinates to submit or suffer the consequences. Predators use it to zero in on prey before the pounce.

Animals that know and trust us already, will look at us with a soft interested gaze and we can look back the same way, but don't start there.

You can get a lot closer to a nervous or wary animal by going up slowly with your body at a sideways angle, with a sidelong downcast gaze, than by marching up directly, focusing right on the animal, presenting your front straight on (also dominant/threatening).

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post #26 of 28 Old 10-14-2016, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Avna View Post
If he doesn't like being looked at, don't look at him. I learned a long time ago to mind my eyes around animals. A direct stare is a threat posture for almost all animals. Including us. Dominant animals use it to tell subordinates to submit or suffer the consequences. Predators use it to zero in on prey before the pounce.

Animals that know and trust us already, will look at us with a soft interested gaze and we can look back the same way, but don't start there.

You can get a lot closer to a nervous or wary animal by going up slowly with your body at a sideways angle, with a sidelong downcast gaze, than by marching up directly, focusing right on the animal, presenting your front straight on (also dominant/threatening).
I've had good luck with this tactic. I call it "sneaking up on 'em sideways." When possible, I'll try to use a fence corner to my advantage. If the horse moves away from me, I take a step or two away from it. Then loop back and continue my sideways advance. Sometimes I'll stop, squat down and fiddle with some grass or stones before getting closer. If the horse runs, I don't run toward it. I'll run at an angle that would intercept it. They always notice it and stop or turn. When they do, I turn away from them and start over. Once I'm close, I don't reach for the head. I stand beside them facing the rear, the way horses do when they're scratching each others withers. Once I'm scratching the withers, most will allow me to slip a lead rope around their neck. If not, we start over.

In smaller enclosures, I've sometimes combined this with the keep 'em moving technique.
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post #27 of 28 Old 10-20-2016, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Little update: We took Cotton and Raven (my mare) to an obstacle clinic over the weekend. Figured even if he was too scared to do anything he'd at least get exposure to the trailer, new horses and new people. He trailered and rode like a dream. He did each and every obstacle; hesitated and questioned, but tried everything once and then wasn't timid about that obstacle anymore. He walked through a box full of plastic bottles, a tarp on the ground, a big puddle of water (walked through it, stood in it, backed up through it), walked over a bridge, stood on it and walked over when it was unstable. Walked under a tarp flapping in the wind, lots of other stuff too. I was so proud of him I could have burst. Got him home, of course he was back to his usual self, but he stepped up and tried everything that was asked of him.

My mare, who is fearless, balked at everything, was bossy and loud and refused all but a couple of the obstacles. Then refused to trailer for the ride home. She's never refused to trailer. No clue what her deal was other than she's a mare...Trainer laughs because my horse is just like me. Moody, stubborn and sweats a lot. She was being so obstinate we didn't even leave her for her training stay. :P
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post #28 of 28 Old 10-20-2016, 03:56 PM
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it sounds like this gelding does not like it when you face him, does not really enjoy being touched . He is not convinced that being with you is the best place to be.

that's what i'd be working on. in the round pen, and out taking him for walks. the nice thing about walks is that you are in front ofhim, where he really doesn't want you to be, but you are moving away from him, and this is often much more comfortable for a horse. it can really build confidence in a horse to go for a long walk with you. just even have him go with you while you work on fences, or dig holes or pull weeds or anything. his job is to jsut hang with you.

in the round pen, rather than working on having him run around, and using the whip or your body pressure to 'make' him move his hind end around, just work on getting him to move away from you , toward the outside edge, but then , without necessarily running him around, see if you can't engage his interest in coming back to you. over and over again, you send him away (easy, easy) and draw him back. he will eventually leave you slowly and relaxed because he knows that he need not flip from being near you to getting away (fleeing).

a lot of horses if you send them away, like from the center of the round pen out to the edge, so you can move them in circles, will flip over from a mental mode where they are trying to find emotional rest next to you, to being in mental anxiety about the turning away from you, so they flee/rush off. in that moment, you have lost them, and anxiety takes over. if you can get him to be ok about moving away, and ok about coming back, I think he'll feel more secure in general about being with you.
a timid horse doesn't benefit from having someone 'chasing' his hindquarter around to make him stop and turn. he will only become more anxious. for turns, draw his head and mind to you, rather than pushing his hind end away from you. the result is similar in that the horse ends up facing you, but how he FEELS about it is totally different.

I also agree that bringing him in for a bit of grain will make him more happy about coming in.
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