1. JOIN the world's largest horse forum! Chat and learn from other experts about horse training, breeding, health, showing, riding, contests and use our free horse classifieds. Register Here

New discovery:

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Dona Worry, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2016
    Messages:
    2,356
    Likes Received:
    3,515
    I can't catch my horse!
    I caught her easily all summer, and since Quest has been born I really haven't needed to go out and fetch her. She will enter the barn on her own for grain, and is led out with a halter, and I haven't ever had the need to go get her beyond that!
    Today it got REALLY warm really fast, so I went to take the blankets off. Waltzed out there, thinking I was going to catch her like normal.
    NOPE.
    I fussed for a while, but in the end I pretended she had grain in her stall and brought the morgan's in. She came in on her own after that.
    She is somewhat the low horse, she is afraid of Warrior (but will charge her if she thinks Quest is threatened) and has a cool relationship with Sunrise. I think Calypso would have come to me if Quest would have left the morgans (who were unhappily locked away in the round pen and complaining about it).
    Any advice?
    I have literally never caught this horse from pasture and done anything other than feed and brush her. No idea why she is acting like this.
     
  2. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2016
    Messages:
    2,356
    Likes Received:
    3,515
    @Admin, can you please fix the underline in the op?!
     
  3. equicrzy

    equicrzy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,713
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Because, she can? Because she doesn't see you as anyone significant? Because, she thinks, "she's not the boss of me?" Because, you've never gone out and haltered her, to bring her in before?

    Lol.....I don't really know, these are just a few things that popped into my head.
     
  4. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Messages:
    30,399
    Likes Received:
    59,221
    Don't look at her and mosey out into the field. Carry a brush only. Look around at the ground and only glance at her, your head tipped forward, chin on chest, and walk parallel to her. Then mosey a little sideways towards her

    Don't go out to catch her. Go out and brush her. A horse that won't stand naked in a field for it's handler to approach it with a brush is a horse that has no trust or respect for that handler. Now just rub her shoulder, still not looking at her. If she stays there, start brushing. Don't talk, just act like another horse who is in the field with her. That's how you catch a horse that doesn't really know you; you act like another horse in that field is acting.

    Now go away. Come back later and do the same. Third time, bring the halter but brush her first. When you get her inside, brush her AGAIN. You make it PLEASANT to be with you, and they will gladly be with you.
     
    Arem, pamnbam, Alsosusieq2 and 7 others like this.
  5. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2016
    Messages:
    2,356
    Likes Received:
    3,515
    I would go and get her this summer, but she was usually waiting miserably by the gate, so that hardly counts.
    The few times she was on the hill in the corner, she would always approach within about five feet away then stand and wait for me. She has never been a come running and get in your face type, but she was fine to approach. After she had Quest and was out with just him and Style, I never had to catch her, but would sometimes go out and just hang out and she would let me approach and pull burrs put of her mane and whatnot.
    This time she would get close, then tuck her butt in and scoot away like someone was about to smack her--even though I was standing calmly 10 feet away and the morgans were locked in the round pen 50 feet away.
    Body language: tense, not playful, bored, or dominant.

    My immediate worry is that she is a) getting bullied by the morgans or b) is going blind. C) is a training issue, which yeah needs to be dealt with and whatever but since I have actually needed to fetch her from pasture 0 times over the last seven months I am not as worried about that.

    I feel like I need a reality check and that both a and b are unlikely, and that this is firmly c.
     
  6. RelaxMax

    RelaxMax Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,012
    Likes Received:
    1,997
    Tried for two minutes to figure out if this was a link... lol
     
  7. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    15,338
    Likes Received:
    8,981
    The sudden ducking away, tucking the rear end, is fairly typical of horses affected by stray current. That is one possibility. But there are many others as well.

    I doubt the horse is going blind. It's possible, of course, but you would be likely to see other symptoms. Not just this in isolation.

    It is important to note that many horses are not actually going blind, but have slight distortions of vision. If you stand at certain angles to them, they will duck away from you. That behavior can also happen with bad training and abuse. If a horse is attacked ONLY ONCE from a certain angle, it will probably NEVER again stand loose, and allow itself to be approached from that angle. In fact it's much more important to simply adapt to the horse as usually you will find no physical cause for this behavior.

    Given the condition of your horse when you bought her, it's pretty difficult to say what wasn't done to her - someone may have tried to chase her around to 'teach her to allow herself to be caught'. Lots of people think they can do that. My friend's dad used to throw a hammer at the horse's head until it went into the barn. He would chase the horse all over the pasture and keep throwing a hammer at its head. So a lot of different things are possible.

    And depending on what WAS done to her, that limits your retraining options. In other words, if someone really messed up the horse, a lot of the methods you would be given to cause the horse to be caught easily...won't work. Some things can't be undone.

    Here's what I have found to be very successful with horses that have been messed up by someone else. I have to have horses that can all be caught by a complete novice who, in more than thirty years, has proven himself utterly unteachable when it comes to catching horses. So. I go out and feed the horse. Grain, carrots and apples. While it's eating, I hook up the lead shank(if the halter is off, I loop a lead shank around the neck - be very careful not to spook the horse - and slip the halter on). Here's the important part - then I let the horse continue to graze for several minutes. Because I let the horse continue to graze for several minutes, I can walk up to a horse and put a lead shank on him very, very easily. Then I take the lead shank(and halter, if it needs to come off), off and walk away. And in general, I don't have to walk out, because I call the horse and it comes up to get a treat.

    The treat need not be continued. The habit will usually 'stick' without it.


     
  8. SEAmom

    SEAmom Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    3,666
    Likes Received:
    5,568
    I firmly believe it is a (lack of) training issue. Just because you haven't needed to catch her oh the past 7 months doesn't mean it won't become an immediate necessity at some point. Imagine there being an emergency of some sort and no one being able to get the horse because you didn't think it was important to make sure she was catchable in the last year. Just not worth the risk or irritation for other people, imo.
     
  9. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2016
    Messages:
    2,356
    Likes Received:
    3,515
    Yes, and it will certainly need to be corrected, but on a scale of bring bullied to the point of neurosis to going blind, a training issue is a minor blip.
    I will start by just brushing her and such again, see if that helps or if she continues to act so spooky.
     
  10. SEAmom

    SEAmom Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    3,666
    Likes Received:
    5,568
    A quick vet visit will answer your concerns about her eyesight (doubtful this is the case, but stranger things have happened). As for any bullying, this is also very doubtful given your OP unless there's information we're missing.

    You asked for opinions and you're getting them. If you don't want them, ignore the responses or don't ask. Given the information above, however, the answer is relatively simple. Not to mention how simple (and inexpensive) it is to find if this is a training problem or not.
     

Share This Page