- Start by controlling your temper. A positive mental state will be much more encouraging for your apprehensive horse. Speak in gentle tones and avoid strong, direct eye contact.
- Give yourself plenty of time. Your horse will sense if you’re rushed or in a hurry. Take a few deep breathes and don’t give up until you’ve caught him.
- Start smaller and gradually get to an open field. Stalls, paddocks, and small enclosures make it much easier to get ahold of your horse. If you can’t catch him in a paddock or if he even avoids you in a stall, than you’ll never have luck in a huge space.
- Leave a breakaway halter on. In the beginning, it may be easier to catch him if he is already wearing a halter.
- Change it up! Don’t ride your horse every time you catch him. He will equate you as only hard work. Spend valuable time grooming him, letting him hand graze, and sometimes just catch him and than let go.
- Build trust and respect. Try to improve his ground manners, help him overcome fears, take him to new places, and spend quality time with him.
- If he wants to run from you, than make him work. Don’t let him rest until he begins to settle down. You want him to think that running was your idea. While it will take time in the beginning, eventually your horse will realize it’s easier to stand still and be caught.
There’s no quick fix for this difficult behavior, but with consistency and determination you can fix that hard to catch horse.