April 30, 2013

Catch Rope

Can you spot Connor's new accessory?

Catch rope.  He's being more of a jerk than ever about catching, which happened last year about this time also (grass?).  I've learned to bring his Lusitano partner-in-crime in before I even attempt to catch Connor, and then it only takes about 10 minutes to catch him.  I jokingly call it our warm-up, but I still wish I could fix it.  I learned that they are catching his partner-in-crime and then letting Connor follow behind loose (thanks to the configuration of our facility, loose is never actually LOOSE) and heads for his stall when they bring them in for the evening.  I don't mind, I want things to be as easy as possible for them, and Connor is not making it easy right now.  We'll see if the halter/catch rope helps.



  1. Oh I remember the days we would get called because Sherman would not be caught. Only Mom could get him to come.
    We have taken to visiting our ponies in the field and giving treats, so that they will approach. These Cobs are so smart though, they test everyone.
    At least you have the elephant walk method available. Gotta love herd animals.

  2. Not sure if this would be practical in your set-up, but this is what I did with a very naughty older pony (he used to charge very aggressively at the kids when they tried to catch him)
    I always gave him a chance to "be good" first when I went to catch him, and if he wasn't, I then split the paddock into two smaller chunks, approx arena sized (I had very small paddocks) with a length of electric fencing tape I kept on hand just for this purpose. I proceeded to "put him to work" free-lunging à la natural horsemanship, watching for signs of submission. Once I started getting respect from him, I'd give him a chance to "be good" and "join up" with me. I very rarely had to send him out to work again and he figured out pretty quickly that life was much much easier if he was good to catch. Within a couple of weeks, even my kids could catch him safely and easily.
    I agree with Nicole, visiting to just say hello and give a treat or too is a good idea, too, if you can do it.

  3. Oh my god. It looks like his mouth is gaping open in surprise. Bahaha.

    I have no advice. My horse would kill a man for apples, so I've trained him to come when I call with those. At the same time, he's never (EVER) been hard to catch.

    Good luck!

  4. Always bring food? Thats what I used to do for our hard to catch Arab lol

  5. Shy used to be (and still sometimes can be)very hard to catch. I used to have to keep her halter and a catch rope on her, too. At first, I think she was truly scared to be caught, but now it is a game for her. I bring a peppermint with me when I go get her in the field. She hears the crinkle of the wrapper and stops and stays put til I walk up to her. Once I halter her, she gets the peppermint. If she runs or gives me any trouble, no peppermint. It works for us!
    Good luck!!
    Oh, and I got asked yesterday if Shy was a Welsh cob :)

  6. Oh, been there! Riva is turned out in a 5 acre pasture and we have had to resort to letting all the mares inside to catch her a few times. She is much better now and will normally come to us - age? more work to keep running away? - who knows!

  7. Naughty pony! I hope the rope does the trick. :/

  8. Have you tried giving him a tasty cookie when you catch him? If I have someone that is hard to catch I'll go out and catch them 20 times in one day giving them a cookie then letting them go. Then the same the next day and the day after without ever bringing them in. Then I'll bring them in one day and work them. I'll catch and release every time I'm out after that so they don't know when they come in and after a week or two they are fine.

  9. Ah, you guys are the best!

    Martine - That's a really good idea. One of my biggest problems is that I don't have a round pen-sized area in which to work with him on this. I definitely might try that.

    L. Williams, Allison, STH - I do always have treats with me, and they have helped in the past, but right now he is recognizing that the treat is part of the process and gets that evil pony gleam in his eye when he just sees me walking to his gate. You're right about catching him and not doing anything with him, I do need to do more of that. That sounds like a good weekend project!