catching a difficult horse!

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We have all had this happen so I figured it might be
worth going over with you in this issue.

Keep in mind that a newly acquired horse or a horse that
may be herd bound needs a little assurance & patience from us.
They want to know that you are not going to harm them or abuse
them in any way. You as the owner/ trainer must create a
friendly, but "I' am the boss" relationship with your horse,
if you want a long and rewarding partnership with him.

Horses, no matter what age, are constantly learning from their
interactions with us. Whether or not you think your interaction
with your horse is a "formal training session" your horse is
always learning.

This is the case whether you are riding, lunging, feeding, playing,
bathing, your horse or just walking through your horse's pasture
or in his stall. Your horse will come to trust in you as you
work, play and interact with him.

To start this process you must make every experience with your
horse an enjoyable, learning experience.

For instance, if you are having problems catching your horse
in the pasture then you probably don't have a working
relationship with him but this can be handled with a little
patience and persistence from you.

First you must reassure your horse you mean him no harm and
that it is a pleasant experience when he is with you. When you
go out into the pasture don't just go with the intention of
"grabbing" your horse for a quick ride, workout or training
session.

Instead, walk up to him with a treat in hand; a carrot or apple
will do. He may be stand-offish at first but his natural
curiosity will eventually win out and he will accept the treat.
As he reaches for the treat try to pat him gently on his head
and neck. Maybe you won't be able to pat him today or tomorrow
but the next day you will.Persistence is the key to remember!

Do this every day, several times a day until he realizes you
aren't there just to catch him and put him to work. Eventually
he will learn to enjoy these "little get togethers" and these
"little get togethers" will build his confidence in you.
Before you know it he will be coming to you whether you have a
treat for him/ her or not.

Horses actually enjoy being with us as our partners and friends!
Horses are by nature very curious creatures and are always
interested in someone or something in their space. Take
advantage of this! Maybe you need to work on your fencing,
or round pen and chances are that if he sees you in his space
he will come to see what you are doing. Seize this opportunity
to just talk to him and give him a gentle pat. I don't know
about you but when I am in the pasture working my horses come to
see what I am doing and I always take a few minutes to ask them
how their day is going, and give them a gently pat or two.

You must be persistent and patient in your efforts. Rome wasn't
built in a day and your horse may not let you catch him in a
day either. This will take a few days or possibly
weeks but he will come to trust you and enjoy your company.

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