Terrifying moment - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 05:17 PM
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And there will come a day where you didn't do anything wrong (ie: accidentally leaving a gate open) and they'll get out on their own.

Just part of owning your own place and having your own horses! They will get out from time to time.

I agree not to leave a halter on (just asking for it to get caught on something) and just work with him on being caught.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post

They ran past the first two houses with me jogging behind them yelling for Harley. He just thought it was a fun game. I would have thought he'd stop and run in a field to eat, but no, he stayed right on the road. The more I ran behind him, the further he went.
One thing I always try to remember when I am frantic and need to catch my horse right now .... is not to let the horse I am frantic and need to catch them right now. Stay very relaxed and non-chalant about it. Remember to never "face" them directly. Always have your shoulders pointed at a slant, and approach them at an angle (not straight on). You don't want to try to sneak up on them (because predators sneak up on their prey!!!) but you do want to walk up to them casually.

If they move or run away, just act like "oh, that's what I wanted you to do anyway" and don't make a big deal of it.

It seems to work much easier to catch the horse if you can control your body language in this way, even though you are freaking out inside your head.

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post #32 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 06:33 PM
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Don't beat yourself up too much. This has happened at least once, but likely more than once to anyone who's owned livestock.

One memory that sticks out in my brain is when I was a kid. We had 4 horses and had them in their summer pasture that was about a 1/4 mile across the field/down the road from our place at the very end of the quarter section. No gates were left open, but one of the horses (or possibly more) must have pushed on the gate and the latch broke sometime during the night or wee hours of the morning. We were awakened early in the morning by one of our neighbours phoning that our horses were out. We headed to where we were told they had been spotted and there was no sign of them except for hoof prints on the gravel road. We followed their tracks and they went up to someone's yard, then disappeared into the tall grass in the ditch. We headed the other direction and found some more tracks going the opposite way down the road. Still not a horse in sight. My parents went back to the house to call a few more neighbours to see if they had seen the horses (cell phones not common yet). As they neared the yard, there were the 4 horses, trotting up the road and turning into the driveway. They had gone on their adventure and decided to come home, but seemed quite pleased with themselves over the whole thing.

We used to have a mare that figured out how to open the gate and we couldn't figure out how the gate kept opening. Being young and absentminded, my parents thought my sister and I were the culprits. One day we watched her play around with the latch until the gate opened and promptly replaced the latches to ones that require an opposable thumb to open.

There have also been times where I've forgotten to close a gate. Our pens are divided and sometimes, when I open the gate to let them into the other side of the pasture, I'll forget to check if the gate is closed on the other side. Luckily, my mare is a bit of a pig and isn't motivated to leave her readily available food source and usually just wanders around the yard until someone puts her back.

If it's not a regular occurrence, your neighbours probably don't mind and it might even be a bit of excitement added to the day. We've had neighbourhood horses wander on the yard at my mom's and we don't worry too much about it, because, hey, it happens. Like in your case, the owners usually aren't far behind.

One thing I never do with a loose horse is give chase. This also applies to hard to catch horses. I have walked circles around the 80 acre pasture at my barn for over an hour in some cases to catch a particular lesson horse, but I refuse to expend the extra effort. I always slowly and non-chalantly walk towards them. If they run away, I just maintain the same pace and follow at a leisurely, relaxed walk. At some point they realize you're not giving up and usually get tired of running.
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post #33 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 07:49 PM
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LOL, I have 2 full drafts and 2 draft crosses. Short of having solid steel pipe fencing set in concrete that is 7 feet tall, the only thing that will keep them in is electric. They straight walk through everything else. Pictured below is one of those lightweight tubing panels that you can get at any ranch supply store....it was new less than a week before this picture was taken. The culprit is the black horse in the background. He was still rather young in this picture but he now weighs at least 2000 pounds.

So, electric is the only option with him.....but sometimes the electric malfunctions and he walks through the fence again because he usually tests it 2-3 times a week.

I instill my call-back as a certain whistle and I teach it like clicker training. I whistle and shake my bucket and then feed them treats when they approach me. Wash, rinse, repeat many times and you have a horse that will usually come back to you when you whistle, and then follow you home if you feed them a bite every couple of minutes while you walk.


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post #34 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 09:16 PM
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yes, we all that have horses, have had them get out, and that is just going with the flow.
However, those that don't learn, keep repeating the same mistakes, having their horses and other animals get out time and time again, are ir responsible
For one thing, while I use portable electric fencing, to control grazing area, I never rely on it as the sole perimeter fence
Far as portable panels, thumbs down! I use a few as gates, but would never use them for a roundpen, or as fencing. I have seen some real wreaks, of horses getting feet caught in them, and pulling the whole mess down, sometimes, getting a rider entangled also.
There is a reason why good stout wooden posts, sunk into the ground, plus a hot wire, creates a fence horses respect.
For an electric wire to work, it must first be constant, not intermittent, far as pulse, and it has to have a good fencer with proper ground, plus insulators
I have seen all kinds of 'Micky Mouse\ versions, where the horse sure learn when that wire is hot, and when it is not.
T posts, are another thumbs down for me.
Not many horses will run through a fence, where that top wire is always hot, with enough voltage to give a good reminder
Horses learn to test fences, if that wire is sometimes hot, and sometimes not
Those light weight tubing panels should be banned, as they are useless, except as a visual barrier some horses will respect. Yup, if you use electric fencing, it must work 100% of the time, so horses don';t test it, and see if they are 'lucky'
Once a horse is 'conditioned, they will no longer test an electric fence, and I have used electric tape to divide off grazing areas, sometimes not plugged in, but my horses don't test it
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post #35 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 09:22 PM
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I once let a young hafflinger mare and a Thoroughbred out of their paddock. Luckily, the farm is enclosed and the gate to the road was closed. But the farm hand came down to the bard and asked if those 2 horses were supposed to be out.... turns out when I put water in the buckets, I didn't close the gate- I usually go in another wa, and changing it up made me forget that gate.

Now, the thoroughbred usually is a good horse- but not when under the mare's influence. I am trying to herd them back in the field- they aint going! They do the classic run a little, eat, and when i get close, jog off and repeat. Eventually they go in, and I can officially say I had a running race with that hafflinger to the gate- it was all fun and games with her and she knew she messed up when she ran into the field. Both of us are running top speed to get to the gate and by the grace of everything holy- I won. The look on that mares face at loosing was priceless.

Another time, a different thoroughbred got away from the BO and ran past the barn. By the time I get out of the barn ( if you see aloose horse running, barn rules are to drop everything and get th ehorse) I see th horse take off down the road. First thing I do is grab a bucket and put grain in it. I go to th eroad, horse is NO WHERE to be seen. BO is getting her truck to go around the neighborhood, I continue down the road shaking the bucket. Turns out, the horse turned off the road and ran up someone's yard, and he turned around and ran back to the farm. Then we had the joys of catching a horse that I swear could win the kentucky derby.

Point is- like other's stated- it happens to the best of us. I done it, and I am one of those people who walk back to double and sometimes triple check gates are locked.
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post #36 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
yes, we all that have horses, have had them get out, and that is just going with the flow.
However, those that don't learn, keep repeating the same mistakes, having their horses and other animals get out time and time again, are ir responsible
For one thing, while I use portable electric fencing, to control grazing area, I never rely on it as the sole perimeter fence
Far as portable panels, thumbs down! I use a few as gates, but would never use them for a roundpen, or as fencing. I have seen some real wreaks, of horses getting feet caught in them, and pulling the whole mess down, sometimes, getting a rider entangled also.
There is a reason why good stout wooden posts, sunk into the ground, plus a hot wire, creates a fence horses respect.
For an electric wire to work, it must first be constant, not intermittent, far as pulse, and it has to have a good fencer with proper ground, plus insulators
I have seen all kinds of 'Micky Mouse\ versions, where the horse sure learn when that wire is hot, and when it is not.
T posts, are another thumbs down for me.
Not many horses will run through a fence, where that top wire is always hot, with enough voltage to give a good reminder
Horses learn to test fences, if that wire is sometimes hot, and sometimes not
Those light weight tubing panels should be banned, as they are useless, except as a visual barrier some horses will respect. Yup, if you use electric fencing, it must work 100% of the time, so horses don';t test it, and see if they are 'lucky'
Once a horse is 'conditioned, they will no longer test an electric fence, and I have used electric tape to divide off grazing areas, sometimes not plugged in, but my horses don't test it
And how about those step-in post fences I see all over the place as permanent fencing?! I do use them to create rotational grazing areas within my larger pasture, but they're only about 4 feet tall and with the sagging, are an easy jump for Harley! He respects the rope, but I would never rely on those alone - only to section off my pasture so that there is always secure perimeter fencing. Where we used to board him, they had one area of their pasture done with just step-ins and Harley kept escaping. Only he never went anywhere because the other horses couldn't follow. They didn't have the best fencing.... I guess that's why their horses have gotten out a few times. We also have a top board all the way around our paddock so if the electricity goes out, we have a secure area for the horses.

When we first brought Harley over to our place, he decided to test the fence and jumped back about ten feet. It gives quite a jolt! He won't even go near it now.

Oh, and where we first boarded Harley last fall, they tried to put him in a stall that had nothing but a tubular gate on the front. It made me nervous that he would get a foot caught when laying down so I had him moved to secure stall with a proper front. People take shortcuts sometimes and it makes me nervous. So yes, I felt pretty darn sheepish when my own horses made their great escape!
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post #37 of 80 Old 08-06-2016, 12:23 AM
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Yup, there's a reason halters on are so frowned upon. Even if they were on they may not have made a difference. If you're able to grab one effectively you're able to put one on.

Any horse can get a little "up" in that situation and suddenly become untrained and wild!

I will say- hay in a muck bucket? Good luck!!

Definitely grab the tastiest- AND noisiest thing possible in a bucket and rattle. If they won't come to grain they won't come for anything. Hay, they may not even know it's in there and it's not as exciting as a rattling bucket, or freedom! You need to distract them.

My favorite is the times we've been called about our horses being loose and run out to see them all calmly grazing in the paddock...grabbed some halters and gone running off wondering whose horses they possibly are lol.

Or our elderly neighbor (who lived a good 5 miles or so away, maybe more) being called that they were loose but safe in our barn munching on our hay (after me catching both and walking them home in the breakdown lane past a mile of traffic in the snow!) and how was she planning on getting them home (she brought over tack and my mother and I rode them home, the long way, we now own one of them, that was a fun day! tired ponies!)

We are also off a highway in the middle of nowhere. Not TOO much traffic but fast and careless!
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post #38 of 80 Old 08-06-2016, 12:43 AM
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I'm surprised to hear this has happened to so many people!
I've never forgotten to close a gate or stall.
I'm sure it'll happen eventually, just hasn't happened yet haha.

As for the situation, I'm just glad to hear both horses made it home safely. So scary!
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post #39 of 80 Old 08-06-2016, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zexious View Post
I'm surprised to hear this has happened to so many people!
I've never forgotten to close a gate or stall.
I'm sure it'll happen eventually, just hasn't happened yet haha.

As for the situation, I'm just glad to hear both horses made it home safely. So scary!
I haven't ever done that either, except once, relatively recently, at work, with a boarders horse!! X.X

There are gates between the pastures and I moved him via one of those then realized I had (intentionally several hours previously) left the main gate open. Luckily I realized before the horse did and no one knows lol but I had a bit of a panic moment. Much different when it's your own horse at home!

One time with all I've done isn't bad lol, and everything is always doubled checked before I leave, always. Definitely sort of have "checkpoints" during the day too, often other people leave things assuming you will take care of them.
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post #40 of 80 Old 08-06-2016, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zexious View Post
I'm surprised to hear this has happened to so many people!
I've never forgotten to close a gate or stall.
I'm sure it'll happen eventually, just hasn't happened yet haha.

As for the situation, I'm just glad to hear both horses made it home safely. So scary!
I definitely forgot things like gates when I was a kid. I'd be told to check that the gates were closed but my head was off in the clouds somewhere and I'd forget. As an adult, not so much. I think I've forgotten to check a gate once.

At my barn, they have a mini who's a little escape artist. He's figured out how to go between the flexible fence or shimmy his body under the fence if the ground dips down. They didn't mind too much when he got out because the yard was fenced, but he figured out how to get out of the fenced yard too and onto the busy highway. He now has his own pen made with wooden planks and no low spots along the bottom. I'm sure he'll figure out how to escape from there eventually.
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