Having trouble catching your horse from the field? Whether it’s your horse, a horse you’re part-boarding or leasing, or the horse you ride at your weekly lessons, catching a horse in the field is usually part of the job before you ride. As a beginner rider, knowing how to catch a difficult horse can be vital.
Part of a horse’s training involves learning to stay still or even to approach when you’re trying to get them.
Occasionally, however, horses forget this training and they like to play a little game where they run away when you approach them.
My tricks on how to catch a difficult horse
The first and most important thing is not to keep chasing the horse around. Usually continuing to chase them teaches them that this is a game.
Trick #1 is probably the most obvious: bring out some treats with you and wait until the horse comes. But this isn’t great – either for your horse’s waistline or for their long term training.
Trick #2 is to actually bend over forwards like you’re calling a dog. I’ve found that horses will sometimes get curious as to what is happening when you do this and come over to check it out. Or maybe they’re recognising our body language? Who knows, but I think horses are smarter than we credit them, sometimes.
Trick #3 is when you’re letting the horse out into the field, don’t just let him run off. Make sure that you turn him around to face you before you take his halter off and then slowly back away from him rather than him going away from you. This reminds him that you’re ultimately in control of him, even while he’s free to run around.
Do you have any good tricks you use for how to catch a difficult horse? Please don’t hesitate to comment below and let me know!
Or, if you’re interested, you can learn some of my favourite groundwork exercises or bonding activities. That way your horse will be even more thrilled to see you and will come right over (or so I hope…).
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