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This question has been bumping around in my head for a while. If you saw a horse that was loose somewhere, what would you do? Would you try to catch it? If so, what would you do with it afterwards? Would it depend on the situation and maybe the horse?

In my neighborhood, people are always catching loose dogs and putting them in their backyard until the owner can come get them. It wonder if it's the same with horses. I also wonder what I would do if I saw a loose horse.
 

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Our horses got loose once and the neighbours herded them back to our house. We know all the horses in our neighbourhood, so we'd probably take it back to their house (unless they've got locks on their gates, then we'd hold them till' they come to get them.
 

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Depends on where.

On the reservations near me, horses run loose. But, I've been cruising on roads and seen people trying to catch bands of horses. Then I stop and help.

Around subdivisions I try to run them off the roads, even if it's to backyards between houses, then call the sheriff. People get angry about their grass (that feeds nothing!) but they'd be angry if a loved one hit a horse and got hurt, so I just go with the safest option for all.

Around ranches, it's the easiest. Usually I just have to get out and beller "You sons of guns need to git home!" Throw my arms, shake my hat angrily, and follow them. They will either go back to the hole where they got out, or go to a gate. Ranchers here brand, and it's easy to know local brands so even if a horse has more than one, you can figure out who probably owns the horse(s). I carry wire and fence pliers with me and can throw up a patch pretty quick. I've even done it in dresses and heels.

If the above doesn't work, I just have to catch one horse, the leader (not always the same as the one in front), and they then tell me which way "home" is.

I carry baling twine with me and braid it into different lengths while I'm either taking a break or stuck waiting somewhere. I can't count the lengths I've given to people who are trying to catch a horse or dog, or how many times I've used it to tie a gate shut.
 

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I've found a miniature horse on the side of a highway once; I stopped and made a makeshift halter out of a set of reins I had in my car. Tried to convince the pony to hop up into the hatch of my car, but ended up just waiting on the side of the road until his owners started looking for him.

If it is a horse that is stressed and running, you do everything to keep them off of the road. I don't care so much about catching them, but instead keeping them safe. I found two loose miniature donkeys running in a yard next to the road, and all I had to do was stand next to the road and wave my arms every once in a while until they began grazing and gave me time to search for their owners.
 

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I have caught a number of loose horses over the years. If I know the owner, and I usually do, I take it back to its home. If I don't know the owner, I put it in a spare pasture or pen away from my horses.

Once when I put a strange horse in my pasture and called the sheriff's department, the dispatcher said, "Some people have all the luck!" I thought that was super cute and funny.

Once I had a bad fall a long way from home and my horse galloped home without me. A wonderful lady stopped on her way to work (I ride early in the morning) and held my horse outside my gate for what must have been a very long time. I probably walked 3 or 4 miles in riding boots, and I was so relieved to see someone holding my horse when I got to my gate as our road can be fairly busy.

My brother fell off my horse years ago and my horse was hit and killed, so I really worry about losing a horse to traffic.
 

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Our horses got loose once and the neighbours herded them back to our house. We know all the horses in our neighbourhood, so we'd probably take it back to their house (unless they've got locks on their gates, then we'd hold them till' they come to get them.

^^^This:)
 
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I would try to get the horse. I once was driving to work one morning and found a loose horse. I had leads in my car, so I got her then called the sheriff's department because that's who handles lost horses in that area of Florida. A fence had come down at a local boarding stable and the one I caught was their last loose guy.
 

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Around home, yes, I would attempt to catch the loose Equine, and either get it home if I knew where, or put it behind somebody's gate in any event. In a strange place, unless the animal appeared to be in immediate danger, no; I'd leave it to the locals. If I saw someone nearby, I would probably stop and tell them about it.

A neighbors mini "Henry" came to visit my boys last week. Easy enough to put an old halter on him and walk him the quarter mile back home. Not knowing where he came thru their pasture fence-line, I put him in their front yard behind the chain-link fence. I've herded their cow "Rosy" home, too.

Boots, I always carry a "catch string"; about eight feet of bright orange 3mm P-cord, in a neat coil in my back pocket. I use it at least as much as a regular halter.

Catch multiple loose horses? (Loose _tame_ horses, anyway.) First of all, don't get excited. Don't try to "walk them down", or bribe them, just stand quietly, not paying any overt attention to them. Eventually (and it doesn't usually take very long), they will come over to you to see what you are doing, and you can slip a catch string around someones neck. Doesn't have to be the Alpha, just pick a co-operative individual; greet him, catch him, and lead him home. The rest will generally follow. I'm always amazed at how few horse owners seem to know this simple procedure, and run themselves ragged chasing after a loose horse with a bucket of grain, a halter and a lead-rope. You can almost hear the horse(s) laughing :)
 

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I have, over the years, both found loose horses and had horses in my care, get loose.

Majority of people will herd them into a nearby field and close them in.

Last horse I actually rode was a loose horse, a gypsy cob. It came galloping along the Downs one evening as I had just finished walking the dogs. It was heading for a cattle grid so I stood and waved my jacket at it. It swerved off and went on down the hill.

Me, being both helpful and lazy, sent my BC and GSD to bring it back, which they did. I put the two elderly dogs in the car and mounted said horse to look for the rider.

It was a pig ignorant animal that was walking into me and barging about. Once on it, it refused to move. I had another dog walker get a leash from the car and gave it a couple of one twos to get it moving. I made it trot and canter from whence it had appeared. I found the rider about a mile+ away with another rider. Both were trying to lead her horse which was equally ill mannered.

No thanks from the woman whose horse it was. I was told, "My horse is very sensitive and gets upset if someone he doesn't know rides him."

My reply was, "Well, you might find him less sensitive now!"

I helped her mount and also the other woman. I did get a grudging thank you as they rode off.

I had to walk the mile+ back to the car!
 

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Yeah, if I see loose horses anywhere and am in a position to help, I will. The only time it happened in my neighborhood is when someone knocked on my door to tell me the neighbor's horses were running down the road. Neighbors weren't home, and since I have horses, they figured I'd know what to do. They eventually made their way down the road to my house (there were three of them) and stopped when they saw my horses. They came into my barnyard out of curiosity. I got out a feed bucket and a halter and managed to get the dominant horse, a larger Percheron X, to eat out of the feed bucket. The halter was a big small for him, but I got it around his ears and buckled it (couldn't do the throat latch). Then I led him, with the other two following, into my pasture while I shut my two horses in the adjacent paddock. Once they were in safely, I started trying to reach the owners who were at work. They were very grateful and quite upset.

As the others say, it's best not to chase down a loose horse. Number one priority is to keep them away from roads. If you have a bucket, luring them sometimes works. When mine have gotten out, I slip a rope around the neck, then use another rope to make a halter if I don't have one (or even the other end of the same rope - just get it over the nose and behind the ears and voilà, halter). But some are very smart and won't let you get near them.
 

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Here the only loose horses either belong to the trail business and we'd end up with 20+ horses in our alley between the pastures so it was put them in a pasture and make a call. The others belong to owners with just the one or two but we're spread out and I don't know who owns what so I call the horse gossip tree and put the word out. Someone eventually comes get them. I have a small pen they are put in.
 

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One I had forgotten about in Childhood Memories was when a filed of ponies escaped. Well they didn't actually escape, someone had gone through the gate and left it wide open.

This little herd of about 8 crossed the road and went into a large open field, lots and lots of lovely yummy grass well over their fetlock, so, they were not going to be caught!

Someone had called the Police and three cops who arrived in two cars.

The field was a steep valley leading down to a few houses. Jane and I knew the only way to get them caught was to chase them to the bottom, making them follow the road until we could get them, still on the road, but to a gate.

It went well, a few chases and they took off. They followed the road and we had them trapped. Jane and I haltered them all bar two. They weren't silly and knew that being caught meant no more yummy grass! The ones I had caught I handed the ropes to one of the cops who paled and moved away. "Look" he informed me, "I will chase any crook, climb up the side of a house but I will not go near a horse or a rat!"

We finally caught the pair jumped on and leading the others rode them back up the hill into their proper field.

I will say that they were breathing heavy from the chase and even more so after we trotted all the way back up.
 

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On the other side of the coin:

"Back in 1972", my Arab/Saddlebred was an escape artist. One weekend night he decided himself and his three buds should hit the green yard next door.

He managed to let everyone out.

The man knew who to call--- he saw our horses across the fence ever day. We got a call around 2:00 AM from this next door neighbor with the pristine, neatly manicured lawn. All four horses were in his front yard -- eating and recycling eating and recycling----

To make matters worse,these always easy-to-catch horses weren't about being caught that night. Somehow we got them pointed toward home and they literally marched themselves, down the MIDDLE of the road, the several hundred feet to our driveway --- while we held our breath no cars would come thru.

At first light, the guys (we had an old farmhouse converted to a duplex) were at that neighbor's to clean up and make repairs. The guy was miffed but nearly as miffed as he could have been. I think he was grudgingly impressed that one horse was smart enough to let himself and everyone else out.

As an aside, there was a big hayfield next to our driveway, that ran the full length of the other side of the pastures. Yet the horses went right past it to that neatly manicured yard that bordered their front pasture and got us in the woodshed, lol
 

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Not many loose horses around here (I'm in a very rural area), although my neighbor's horses got loose one night. I could hear them running on the dirt road between our houses. It was after 11 pm and I was in bed, but got up and went out to check that they were actually out. They were but they were back on their property (loose). I caught them (got a halter and just walked up to them, individually) and put them back in their turn out. Went home and to bed. If they had gotten out in the "free" land, there is a lot of old barbed wire on the ground; they could have really gotten messed up.

If it was a horse I didn't know (or didn't know me), I would try to catch the loose horse and secure it the best I could (either on my place or holding it while trying to contact animal control). Loose horses can very easily injure themselves and/or cause accidents/injury to others. I will not chase a horse - good way to move it out into areas I'm trying to keep it from going. I might follow one, but not chase it. If I had anything that I could use as a treat (apple/carrot, etc.), I would use that to try to get it.
 

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I always have at least one dog leash and one halter and rope in my truck-- a good rope halter and lead don't take up much room and are easily stashed under a seat. I have an ice cream bucket with some grain in it, too. I've caught a number of loose horses, but usually it's more a matter of herding/leading them back to the field they got out of, then informing the owner. We're a rural area, so a loose horse attracts a crowd of people trying to help, which sometimes is nice, but oftentimes means too many people without a clue have chased the horse and now he's snorting and spooky and nobody's going to get near him. More often than not, the best you can do is keep them off the roads, slow down oncoming traffic, and try to reach the owner or a neighbor.

My husband and I did catch a loose horse one time in a novel way. We had taken a load of trees/branches to the yard waste dump with the horse trailer, and were just pulling out and he looks in the truck mirror and a horse is jogging along behind us. We stop. Husband is not 'horsey' so stays in the truck. Horse is a big sorrel gelding with a halter and broken lead rope, and a new set of shoes. Hmmmm..... Gelding is loitering around behind the trailer nickering, so I opened the rear door and he hopped in. We drove around to a few neighboring farms and nobody recognized him. I called the Sheriff and the on-call vet to let them know I had him, took a photo of his head and posted him on Facebook to a couple of local horse groups with the notification that the owner would have to identify his brand to claim him. I took him out to where we keep our horses and put him in the round pen for the night with some hay and water.

About 6 am the next morning my phone is blowing up-- a family camping 20 miles away had a gelding pull back and run into the cornfields, and nobody had seen hide nor hair of him for three days, and they thought he'd been stolen. They identified his brand, a scar on his leg, and came to get him later that morning. When he got away, he was wearing a saddle, and there was no saddle on him when I found him. Whether he made the 20-mile trip on his own loose, or whether someone had picked him up and he got away again or was turned loose is up for debate. They were happy to have him back, and I thought it was funny that he really, really wanted into our trailer!
 

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Loose horses are rare around here, but I did first call the cops because the horse was so close to the road, then the park ranger whose land the horse was on. While I was calling, a guy appeared with a halter, walking toward the horse. In a twist of fate, the rangers were on the way anyway, and sure enough, when they turned in the guy with the halter slunk off.

Even if I think I know the owner of the horse I turn them into animal control. Lots of creeps in the city.
 

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IF I thought it was not safe for a horse to be out, maybe on the roads or something, I would try to catch it and then find out who owns it.
Example: years ago my husband and I were driving along a highway when we spotted a horse trotting down the road toward us. We stopped I got out and the horse was willing to stop for me, no halter, so I took off my shirt and put it around his neck. Luckily I had a camisole on underneath. I walked the horse back up the road as Hubby drove ahead to see if he could find who owned him.
The horse was good and seemed happy to find someone who would look after him, a nice horse and I thought if we can't find his owner maybe hubby would have to drive home and get the trailer.

We did find his owner and all ended well. I would not want to just drive on and leave the horse on the highway.

Not too long ago I was just coming up the road riding home and a neighbour down the road called to say there were some horses loose, were they ours, a quick count of the pasture, not ours. so I quickly put my horse in the barn and took a couple of halters and ropes and a pail of grain and headed out. The young man across the road came over to help and we drove down to where the horses were. He asked, what will we do with them. I answered first we'll see if they are good horses and if so we'll keep them.(Just joking).
When we got to where the horses were, I recognized them, they had come over from the next concession. |We were able to catch them and put halters on them, might have been harder without the grain, greedy creatures.

The owner was notified and came over to collect his horses.
 

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I had a fun time with some tourists who were trying to catch a loose mare and her two year old gelded and untrained son.

I came across one young lady taking photos of the pair while they were grazing a ditch. I asked her if she needed help and she said "No! I'm just so happy to see some mustangs. This is my first trip west."

As I pulled off the road, more tourists drove up. Since I was wearing a dirty hat, I became the go-to for questions. "Are they wild?" No (a few argued) "Are they okay on the road?" No. (Nobody argued) I handed out a few lengths of braided baling twine and told a couple of the more confident people to try to catch the horses, especially the mom. By now there were eight people four cars there.

I went to the top of the hill were the road intersected with a two-lane highway with a speed limit of 70 mph. And watched the show. Those folks were all working together, strategizing on how to catch the (possibly wild) horses. They really focused on the young gelding for some reason and that, of course, didn't work.

A retired, but one-time famous, horseman drove up, stopped by me, and asked what the heck was going on. I told him. He then asked "Why don't you just walk down there and catch that mare?" I said, "Because they are having the time of their lives and going to go home with amazing stories of helping save wild horses." He grinned and agreed that was a lot more exciting than seeing 'grandma' walk up and catch a mare.

Finally, after the group had about ten cars backed up, I walked down and caught the mare. I gave the crew credit for keeping them safe and getting her calmed down so I could catch her.

Gosh, I hope none of them find this story.
 

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Yes, I'd try to catch loose horses who were obviously domestic. Depends how much the horse looked worth as to what I'd do with it after that :p Only joking... If I couldn't catch, I'd herd them into the nearest enclosed property & call the ranger, if I wasn't close enough to take it home - as I do with stray dogs too. As it costs people money to claim their animals from the pound, I prefer to do that than call the ranger. Then, with local FB groups, you can generally turn up the owner pretty quickly.

I once turned up early morn where my horse was agisted & all his mates were there but no sign of him. Searched the property, searched the neighbouring properties, broadened my circle & searched all morning, to no avail. The property was bounded on 2 side by highways that people fly along. Was driving back home, rather stressed, when I happened to see his yellow bum sticking out behind someone's shed. Went to the property & knocked on the door. The woman said he came over to hang out with her lone mare most mornings, but had usually disappeared by this time of day!! She knew where he was from and had seen him standing on the side of the highway about to cross when she'd left early for work some days!! It never occurred to her this was... irresponsible to say the least, to just watch him come & go, be loose on the highway, not tell the property owner where she knew he belonged!
 
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