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Training any horse is a difficult process.  It takes a well-experienced rider to train horses as well as lots of time and a bucket load of ...

Friday, 10 May 2019

How To Catch The Most Un-catchable horse

Having a horse that won't catch is annoying but it also means your horse doesn't trust you OR he has had a bad experience before.  Here are some tips to turn your horse from uncatchable to catching you.  

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Catching a horse who doesn't want to be caught 

Before we go over how to re-train a horse to be caught, I will share my tips on how to catch a horse who is running away from you.  

The first thing I do is take any field buddies away.  This will obviously mean that your horse will want to follow the others.  Never chase your horse, just sit down in the field (if safe!) with a *bucket of treats* beside you.  

Now, you are going to need some time.  While sitting, without giving too much attention to your horse start playing with the treats.  We are hoping to get our horse's attention in a good way.  Now, if he takes on step towards you, throw him a treat.  Keep doing this until he walks up to you.  

When he is standing next to you, start petting him and praising him.  You need to move very slowly to get his head collar on and you should put the lead rope around his neck first.  I like to slowly put the lead rope over his neck while patting him and giving him a treat.  When you have the lead rope on, use a treat to get the horse to put his nose into the headcollar himself.  

If you really struggle to start with, you can use a *paddock-safe headcollar* to make it easier to catch your horse while training.  

Re-training your horse to catch you in the field

1.  Keep Good Company 

When you know you have a horse that is hard to catch it is soooo important that you keep him with field buddies who are easy to catch.  Not only will this teach your horse to come to you when the others do BUT it will also be much easier to catch the buddies if your horse is running away from you.  

2.  Practise in a Round Pen

I find that a horse that is really bad to catch will not be caught in a round pen or school either.  I use a round pen to teach my horse a cue to being caught.  I usually just say the horse's name and turn away from the horse.  If he walks up to me (or even looks at me or takes 1 step) I will reward him with a treat.  

When he has been taught to come to me in the round pen I move on to the school.  It usually doesn't take long because he has already learnt in the round pen.  Eventually, I will take them into the field and work more on training.  

3.  Something to Look Forward To

It is so important that when your horse walks over to you, he has something to look forward too.  Yes, he gets to see you (he should get excited if you have a good bond with him) BUT something else would be great.  

When my horse's walk to me to get caught I always praise them.  Then, they get to come to their stables and get their hard feed.  Obviously, this isn't a good idea if you are only taking your horse in to ride him straight away but you can still offer treats.  


I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  


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