How To Catch A Horse While Preserving The Bond

Heather Nelson from www.heathernelsonlibertytraining.com explains how to attract a horse out in the field and catch your horse by correctly haltering your horse in a non invasive manner. This method preserves and builds the bond between you and your horse. Heather is inspired by trainers such as Carolyn Resnick - The Water Hole Rituals and Robin Gates.

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Comment by Heather Nelson on June 23, 2013 at 11:37am

Hi Ashley!  Thanks for your question.  I do have an exercise for exactly that, but it's best described in a video and I plan to make a series to explain it.  In the mean time...

If your horse is leaving, rather than naturally drawn to you it means that you:

A) Can improve the bond (this makes sense, because she's new to you.)

B) Can find ways to make haltering a positive association (perhaps she's decided in her past situation that haltering lead to unpleasant things, either leaving her friends or food or perhaps working too hard.)

The best no pressure way to improve the bond is to just spend time hanging out with her in her paddock reading or journaling.  It sounds too easy, but it really is the best way to build a friendship with your horse with absolutely no demands of her.  After doing this my horses love to come over and fall asleep at my chair or follow me around the pasture when I'm wandering.  I have a video of this exercise http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1a-fsl4nME

When you do manage to halter her, practice doing things that she likes.  It may be hand grazing, eating part of her meals, learning a fun interactive game like pushing a ball on cue, getting scratches or massages (spa time) and then just put her back, or do those things before or during training sessions.  

Also lighten up on her training times and find ways to make them easier and more fun until she starts seeing you as her favourite teacher.  Ensure that she isn't experiencing any physical problems or ill fitting tack that make riding uncomfortable.  

I hope that helps and good luck catching your girl.

Heather

Comment by Ashley on June 22, 2013 at 2:35pm

Hi Heather! Do you have any tips for teaching a horse to come to you when called by name? :) We have a new mare who would much rather shuffle quickly away than have her halter put on.  Thanks!

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