Sunday, March 28, 2010

How do you catch a hard-to-catch horse?

Dave asked the question in the comment section of my previous entry.  What Adam finally did after the horses were getting a little tired of the game was to go get a bucket of feed.  Why he didn't do that at the beginning, I don't know.  Before he bought Sassy, Tude wasn't so hard to catch; but Sassy is a troublemaker (I have a name for her, but it isn't a very nice name), and when she takes off, Tude follows.  If you watched the video, Sassy is the half-Arabian who holds her tail up in such a fancy way and tosses her lovely head while running, as if she thinks she's the queen of the world.  
Cliff and I just happened to be out when Adam pulled up or he'd have had to chase the horses over forty acres; Cliff hollered at me, "Shut the gate to the lot," and I got it closed in time to shut them in.  
In summer when their bellies are full of grass, they can't be caught even with a feed bucket.  Adam only lives a couple of miles from here, and if I were him I'd come out without the trailer, put them in the small pen where we feed the cows, or in the stall, and then go home and get the trailer.    
The Internet is loaded with advice on how to train horses not to run away when you approach them, which proves it's a common problem.  My first horse ran when she saw a bridle or halter in my hands, and I always had to catch her with a bucket of feed.    
When I first bought Blue, he hadn't been ridden for a long time, and he'd run if he saw me coming at him with a halter.  I took to sitting in a lawn chair in his pen, reading a book and ignoring him.  Once I got him to the point where I could put the halter on him, I'd lead him to the yard to graze.  This was a treat, since he was in a dry lot with no grass.  If we hadn't taken that dry lot out when we brought the trailer house in, Blue would still be alive and well, by the way.  But I digress.  
Later on when he and I were well-acquainted with one another, if he started to trot away, I'd make a hissing sound and twirl the lead rope toward him to make him keep running.  Blue was slightly lazy, and after a very short time he'd get tired of the game; it was no fun to run if it was somebody else's idea.  Eventually he got to the point where if he even took one step away when I was approaching, all I'd have to do was hiss and he'd stop in his tracks.  


Hyperblogal said...

Cool info.... thanks

Astaryth said...

I'm lucky... all of the horses I am taking care of right now are liberty trained, so if I drop my head, take a step back and call 'here', they pretty much come to me. :)

Anonymous said...




Barbara said...

Put and keep them somewhere small like a round pen or a stall. Go to them frequently with treats, petting and brushing. When they always come straight to you, then put them somewhere larger. The idea being coming up to see you is a happy thing they want to do.

Milly said...

I love reading your stories about the farm. I learn so much. And I'm going to Home Depot this week to find a hydration bottle. I had no idea they would keep the water cold! Thanks for the tip. MGW

Lori said...

It sounds like you knew what you were doing when you trained Blue. Very smart ideas!

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Great post! And it was good just to talk about Blue and horses. Really good.

Okay, not sure about this, but just totally disregard if it's not your cup of tea but I'm a fan of "Ameigo, the Amazing Horse ." I've hesitated telling you about it but I think you just might be lifted up reading it. Ameigo was impaled with a limb and has had lots and lots of procedures but he is alive and doing well due to prayers, Ameig's determination and the wonderful vet school at UT in Knoxville. I checked his status on FB the minute I walk in the door. And , like I said, you may not want to bother and I understand. Have a good rest of the week!

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

good grief...just reread my comment and there's a billion mistakes....ugh. My hands are typing faster than my thoughts/whatever. Sorry for all the mistakes and the choppy writing (my excuse that I'm sticking to is that I am soooooooooo tired and it's just