Catching a Horse and How to do it
Catching a horse is designed to be hard to do…that’s how horses have survived for millions of years.
Horses have the innate ability to out-think their predators on the ground. A human trying to catch a horse reads like a “predator” to them, so they use their best evasive maneuvers to avoid capture. When you’re trying to catch a horse and they’re avoiding you, they’re not being difficult; they’re just trying to survive!
When a horse is hard to catch, people tend to gang up and surround the horse…just like wolves or other predators would do. They corner the horse, then lunge and grab at him. This scares the heck out of a horse. In response to any aggressive measures, horses will go into total panic mode. In an effort to survive, they’ll fight, try to jump over tall walls or run blindly right over the top of you.
These behaviors sound extreme, but in order to understand what’s going on in the horse’s mind you need to understand that to the horse, the situation is extreme. Your horse isn’t afraid of being caught when you are chasing it, he is afraid of being killed and eaten.
These are just a few natural horsemanship approaches to catching a horse. Notice that none are punishing or aggressive, and all are designed to break the predator/prey barrier in the human/horse interaction – the secret to the partnership relationship.
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