Minnesota 6 year old Peruvian Paso ridden in Peruvian type of bosal and saddle in Indoor arena by Expert rider
 

Question: I just started this mare under saddle a month ago. The problem that I have is I can't catch her. She came from California and was never handled. I have her pretty much halter broke and she does great under saddle. I can even catch her in her stall without much of a problem. 

However, as soon as she is outside or in a bigger area she won't let me walk up to her. I am a firm believer in roundpenning and use it all of my horses but as soon as I start roundpenning this mare she completely 100% loses it. I have her reversing, turning into me and even walking towards me a few steps but there is no way she wants to get any closer.
This mare is skittish and at the same time can be extremely stubborn, I don't know which one it is in this situation. She does also have a problem of trying to read my mind and getting bent out of shape by doing so, which leads me to believe that she thinks that when I am trying to catch her I am actually trying to chase her. To combat this problem I tried, when she turned into and faced me, to approach a couple of steps and then walk away before she moves, however after a while she is on to me and will let me walk up to her but not get close enough to catch her, which leaves me to believe she is doing this because she is stubborn. 
 



From Panelist Laura

There are a couple of things you can try to help make catching her easier.  
First, give her treats.  Nothing wrong with a little bribery.  Everytime you 
approach her, give her a horse cookie or a piece of carrot.  If she walks 
away from you, turn your back on her and eat a little bit of her carrot.  
This usually drives a horse nuts, and they will come up to you to get the 
rest of the carrot.  When she is turned out, have a halter on her with a 
piece of string hanging below the halter (about 12 inches long).  When you 
hand her the treat, you can quietly get the string without grabbing at her 
head.  When she gets used to you catching her this way, be sure that about 
half the time you catch her is to just groom or pet her - no work.  This way 
she will learn that you are more fun to be around and start building some 
desire in her to be with you.

Once she becomes easier to catch this way, start carrying a second halter, 
big enough to fit over the halter she is wearing.  Once again, give her a 
treat, catch the string, give her a second treat and put on the second 
halter.  Pet her, give her another treat and remove the second halter and 
walk away from her.  After a while, she will look forward to being haltered 
and should become easy to catch.  Make coming to you be a pleasant experience.

Laura

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