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mrsj

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Hi again

OK, another question!

My new minis old owner used to give them some food when she was catching them. She had a lot of horses (all very well cared for) and I think it was quicker for her to use some food to catch them.

I have noticed that they show signs of expecting it when I go to their paddock to see them. The thing is I don't want to use food to catch them really as they are catchable without it and I don't want them to start nipping when we go in with them, catch them etc! So, I haven't taken them anything, so they don't learn to expect it from me. Do you think I am doing the right thing?

Thanks!
 

Charley

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It is easy to fall into giving food to lure them in, in order to catch them. I think you are wise to break the habit that their former owners have made.

I find my horses like attention and scratches just as well. With kids especially, we do not want to see the nipping. I'm sure your horses will adapt and be waiting at the gates for attention alone in no time. You are doing the right thing; just continue to follow your instincts.
 

Jill

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I've had the best luck teaching hard to catch horses using a round pen. Lunge them and then when you are ready to catch them, if they do not stand right still for you to walk up to them, make them trot another 3-4 minutes and try it again. I keep doing it until they stand still for me to catch them. It's worked on every horse I've done it with, usually just a few sessions. When you are able to walk right up to them, reward with scratches, etc., after you put the halter on or clip on the lead rope.
 

mrsj

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Thank you! I agree sbout the nipping, I really don't want that to start.

The lunging sounds like a good idea, I shall have to try it!

Just went out to check on them (their paddock is behind our house) - they are both lying down in the cool shade of their shelter, awwwwwwwww
 

Charley

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Just went out to check on them (their paddock is behind our house) - they are both lying down in the cool shade of their shelter, awwwwwwwww
 

Mona

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I agree with you and the advice you got from the others. I do not use feed to catch mine either. I want them to learn and know that I am not catching them to harm them, that it is OK to be caught and haltered without "bribing" with feed or treats.
 

Field-of-Dreams

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Most I can catch without feed, others with feed, and two or three only if I run them into a stall. But they don't expect treats whenever I go into their fields. My gelding turns into a PEST if he's been "treated". He gets his yummies when he's done, and that's all.

They others are all the same way.... pushy pests.


Lucy
 

mrsj

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Well, I have been back and forth to the paddock a lot this week just giving them a scratch whilst carrying their headcollars and leadropes - the stallion has stopped looking for food now and today I caught both of them one after the other then let them go and caught them again. They both had a lovely scratch from me each time as a reward so my persistance is paying off!

I'm in no rush and am just going to take my time with them. We've put a football in the field too and I've been playing with that with them too which they enjoy!

Have ordered some lunge equipment too to get them a bit fitter.

Thanks for all the help!

Maria
 

Shari

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Either sit down and read a book in the pasture, or start doing something with tools...totally ignoring them...and in no time... you will have little muzzles either in your book checking out what you are doing, or messing with your tools.

Mine are a bunch of nosey bussy bodies and they have to see what I am doing.
 

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