My grandson, Arick, has been "breaking" a horse he's keeping here at my place. I put the quotation marks around it because I feel that, to properly break a horse, you need to spend considerable time with him. Arick has averaged about two hours a week. It's partly because of the weather we've had, partly because of his work schedule and, on weekends, because of his love life.
Now to give the devil his due, when Arick brought the horse out here, he couldn't even get a saddle on him, and he got tossed off him early on. Now he's riding him with no problem. So he's doing what he is being paid to do.
Only, he can't catch the horse.
After watching him chase and coax for about fifteen minutes last night, I went out and got the horse for him.
I'm no horse whisperer. But I learned from Mark Rashid and my horse, Blue, how to catch a horse.
When I first bought Blue, he hadn't been ridden for three years. After I got him here, reality hit him: Good grief, this woman plans to work me to death!
So he ran from me every time I approached with a halter.
Mark Rashid's books had some tips: Never approach the horse directly or quickly... keep a shoulder toward him. Don't look him in the eye. When you get about six to eight feet away from him, stop (still looking away) and sigh loudly and deeply. What really works best, if you have all the time in the world, is to turn your back on the horse, have a seat, and read a good book. Eventually he'll make the first move and approach you. (It worked with Blue, although one of the neighbor boys asked Cliff why I was reading to a horse.)
I must be doing something right, since I'm the one people come looking for when they can't catch their horses.