Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/Catching horse in pasture


I have a 16 year old gelding paint horse who I got about 1.5 years ago. Since then we have moved him to two different barns. We moved him this past August and he has been doing great with the other horses there. Just recently I have had a difficult time bringing him in from the pasture. I have never had a problem catching him before. When I go in the pasture to get him he walks/ trots away from me. None of the other horses do this. He doesn't nip or kick at me. The last time I went to bring him in I was able to grab his blanket as he was walking away. When he noticed that I had his blanket, he stopped and I was able to put the lead rope on. Then when I brought him back outside he stayed by me in the pasture and he didn't walk away. Why is he doing this and what can I do to get him to stop walking away from me?

They do this because they can and want to do it basically.

He also may see no reason to be caught, may enjoy himself here more, or may be close to feeding time, as that will cause this sometimes.

And you might go out with a small scoop of feed too, and get him used to coming up to you.

Is the pasture bigger than it was at other place?

Is there any possibility that other people are riding him and he is reacting differently because of that?  I have seen that happen too.

Could be the cold weather too is making him more likely to do this.

Is this a boarding place, and how many others are there?

Are there any issues with tack fit, what if anything has changed save the move?

What are the other horses doing when he is walking off.

I have a horse I have had for 16 years, he has never been an "easy catch", but will stop usually when I tell him I MEAN IT WHOA!  Not always though.  Food doesn't work with him at all.

If you can get him to come up in a smaller area for some bit of grain, would be easier on you, or you can walk him down.  When you do have hands on him, start working with a "be still" command, or a STAY one, as I've used both, and depending on horse, that may stop him in tracks.

Consider the question of is someone else using/riding him without your knowledge, as well as the time you are going out, and try some feed.  Many don't like to use that, but much easier to get one up that way, IF you aren't mobbed by other horses of course, than to hassle every single time.

They do have minds of their own, and don't always go along with us.

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training

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Melanie Rowley


Questions relating to first time, or inexperienced horse owners. Other questions as needed. Questions on American Saddlebreds. Old fashioned training advice, riding advice for beginners, and general care questions. Behavior problems, with emphasis on thinking through aspects of problems that might not seem an issue at first.


About to turn 55. My father was a Saddlebred trainer, and I grew up around horses. I have also worked as a Master Saddlebred Show Horse Groom, working with Dale Pugh, Art Simmons, Sonny Sutton, and others. I also have worked with Quarter Horses, and Thoroughbreds on a mare and foal operation in Alabama. I have owned for years, and currently have two teenaged geldings. I also for many years have taught riding lessons, to adults and children, working with beginners just learning, and older adults who have lost their confidence, or wanted to get "back in the saddle." I was lucky to be around many of the best horsemen in MO, and AL and learn from them, and strive always to think through a situation and work to keep riders and horses safe. Those also include the many talented grooms, and farriers I met along the way.

Some college. General studies towards a nursing degree, which derailed due to divorce. Horse skills learned through over 50 years of watching, learning, doing and absorbing as I grew.

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