How to catch a horse in the pasture

It can take hours to catch a horse that doesn’t want to be caught. If you have been around horses for some time, at some point you probably encountered a horse that just didn’t want to leave the pasture and kept running away from you. I did as well of course.

It was so frustrating!

I tried to follow my horse around the pasture with a halter in my hand, waiting for him to stop and let me put it on.

It felt like a complete waste of time.

how to catch a horse in the pasture

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You might know the feeling…

The problem is that when you are trying to catch your horse like this, you always have a disadvantage. Your horse goes wherever he wants, and he is always faster than you are. It feels as if you had no way to get him to stand still so you can put the halter on.

Your horse realizes that, and he might be using it to his advantage. Some horses will more than others. It is a game, where your horse has everything under control. You can “catch him” only after he gets bored of playing.

So how do you catch a horse?

But you are here because you want a solution. Here is what I do.

When you work with your horse in a round pen, you keep asking him to do some basic things. You ask him to stop, to turn around, to trot, or to canter. You ask him to change direction. In general, you just want your horse to be going away from you in the direction that you chose.

  • 1

    Only allow your horse to move towards a corner

    You can use this principle in the pasture. You are of course not going to be asking your horse to go away from you. But if he does, use it to your advantage and try to steer him into the corner. Use your body position and the fact that he goes away from you to steer him into a corner of the pasture.

  • 2

    Pay attention, make sure he doesn't slip by

    Pay full attention to your horse and make sure he doesn’t slip by. If he tries to slip by, react immediately and block him so he keeps moving towards the corner of the pasture.

  • 3

    Do not try to catch him immediately

    As soon as you get your horse into the corner don’t try to catch him immediately. Stand by and just keep him in the corner. Watch him closely and react immediately when he tries to slip by. Don’t try to catch him right in the beginning, just get him to stand in the corner.

As soon as your horse is in the corner, all of a sudden you are the one in the better position. Now you are the one who sets the rules.You no longer just keep chasing him around the pasture, but you are using your body position to keep him in the corner.

Basically, you are telling him “You can’t go right, and you can’t go left. You can stand still or you can let me approach you”

When you want to gain respect in the round pen, you ask your horse to go left or to go right or to change direction.

When you want to gain respect in the pasture while trying to catch your horse, you just let him go to the corner and then you tell him “you can’t go left and you can’t go right, you can stand still or let me approach you”

It is a training, not a waste of time!

A lot of people consider the time they spend catching their horse wasted. But in fact what it really should be is just training. The time you spend catching your horse can help you to gain respect just like “real ground work” in a round pen.

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How to catch a horse in the pasture
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