Being asked for help with horses who are difficult to catch isn’t an uncommon occurrence in the life of an equine behaviourist. Many horses out there seem to have read the manual on all the best ways to avoid being caught – but not only is this frustrating, it can also pose a safety risk. What happens if he’s injured in the field and you need to get him in quickly for the vet, for example? To avoid a stressful situation worsening, there are a few lessons to learn of your own.
Why does it happen?
There are a whole host of reasons your horse might not want to come in. First and foremost, you’ll need to do some detective work to find out why he’s avoiding being caught before you can work towards overcoming it. Some of the most common reasons this might happen include…
- pain or discomfort when ridden or handled
- fear of what will happen after he’s caught
- only being caught when something unpleasant happens, such as vet visits
- lack of positive experiences once caught
- a management routine that doesn’t meet his needs
- memories of a previous bad experience
Did you know?
The close relationship between pain and behaviour problems is the reason all reputable behaviourists work on veterinary referral and remain in close contact with clients’ vets. This way, any physical problems can be identified and addressed before behavioural modification takes place
To find out more about overcoming catching problems, get your copy of May Horse&Rider direct to your door with free P&P, here