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My horse won't let me catch him!

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  • My horse won't let me catch him!

    Sometimes he gets in these phases where he gives me so much trouble catching him from the paddock. He will let me walk up to him but if I go to even touch his neck or bring the halter up towards him, he turns and runs. Maybe it was because I de-wormed the day before (he hates that and shots)? I remember last Fall he wouldn't let anyone catch him for 2 days after Fall shots. Even so, he still does this to me at least once every other week.

    Anyone else deal with this? He is just so strange sometimes... 14 y/o TB, had him since he was 5.

    Is it really just because he doesn't want to be ridden? I just don't get it....!!
  • Original Poster

    Should mention, we've been dealing w/ a possible neuro issue... I'm sure this has something to do with it. Has anyone else had experience w/ this?


    • #3
      Sweeten the deal. What horse can resist the crinkling of a peppermint wrapper?


      • #4
        Sounds like he takes offense at whatever you offered him in the first place. Here's something to work on for the next few weeks. See if it helps.
        For no reason at all, go out to the paddock, halter him, give him kindness, love and a treat, un-halter him and release. Five or ten minutes later, do it again. Repeat once more, and release or bring him in at that time. Do this several times over the course of the next few weeks.

        When you bring him in, make sure some of it it is for reasons other than to ride so he's not always associating it with work or unpleasantness in the diet. A good grooming session, treats, a untampered with meal, etc. Once he is done, either leave stalled, or release. Once he associates your catching him with the possibility of something pleasant, then you don't always look like the slavemaster who might be trying to poison him, and look more like someone he might like to be with.

        I don't know how large your paddock is. Ours is 75 acres, so our options for curing this are: catch and release, lure in with a treat, or walk them down (which initially can take a long time, but once it is done they usually don't repeat the performance again for quite a while. Just make sure he is never allowed to stop to graze. If you have to keep moving, so does he. He can stop and look at you, but no eating. When he stands there looking at you, and licks his lips, you are five minutes away from having him caught.)
        Good luck with your horse.
        "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



        • #5
          I second Chief's advice.

          just in case you ever need to know the "walking down" works on Malamutes, too!!
          Take a drink and a snack to have while on the go though....they have LOTS of endurance
          You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


          • #6
            My older mare in particular is a little hard to catch the day or two after vet work - like when we were treating her eye, or when she had her stifles injected. She'll see me coming with the halter, pin her ears, and walk away. Sometimes she'll even try to throw a half-hearted kick at me if I end up in range. Which results in the lead rope whacking her naughty butt, and then she sighs, stops, and turns around to be haltered.

            She doesn't usually try very hard to get away, just a few dozen steps and a lot of mean looking facial expressions to let you know she'd really rather not be caught that day.


            • #7
              Yeeeee HAAAAWWW!!!


              • #8
                Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                Sweeten the deal. What horse can resist the crinkling of a peppermint wrapper?
                I second that! My gelding started getting hard to catch and I started giving him a peppermint after I put his halter on (start in stall). After a couple of weeks he could hear that wrapper a mile away and would come running full speed towards me! Eventually I backed off the peppermints and I could still call him and he'd come.


                • Original Poster

                  Maybe it's just me being paranoid, but part of the reason I was asking is that I'm wondering if there is a deeper (medical) meaning to it (maybe having to do w/ his neuro issue). Or maybe I'm just being thick and he really plain and simple just doesn't feel like working somedays.


                  • #10
                    Chief2 has the right idea. This works more often than not. But I do have a gelding that this has NOT worked on. Sometimes he eats...sometimes he doesn't because I am through chasing him! I remember bringing out a team of 7 people to create a human fence to funnel him into a smaller area so I could nab him because he knew I was gona ride him lol but like I said somedays he is a fart and other days no problem.

                    If all else fails feed his friends in front of him till he gets jealous enough to come investigate. There is always the smaller (prison) paddock option lol

                    Good luck to you!
                    don't squat with your spurs on!