Tips for dealing with other horses when bringing in

Joined
8 November 2017
Messages
9
Hi,
I wondered if anybody could give me any tips on how to deal with other horses in the field when I need to go and bring my horse in? He is in a large field with about 5/6 other horses at the moment most of which are big young boys and very boisterous. Today I went to catch him to bring him out of the field to feed him and his 'friend' followed right behind us biting my boys bum as we were walking along. I tried to shoo him away over and over and swung the lead rope at him etc but he would just stop for a moment and then go back to following us and annoying my horse. Then he suddenly started running ahead of us and caused all the other horses in the field to come running straight for us and past us as well. My horse ran with them and got away from me but he then stood nicely and waited for me. These horses all then followed us along all the way to the gate and then I had to try to get my horse out of the gate without anyone else barging out or squeezing through which is very stressful!

Any tips for getting these other horses to leave us alone would be great and also tips for how to deal with other horses at the gate when you are trying to leave the field with your horse!
 

splashgirl45

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 March 2010
Messages
6,560
Location
suffolk
you could try putting your horses headcollar on and just waiting for a while to let the others go back to eating before you start walking to the gate, if that wont work could you electric fence an area at the gate so you bring yours into that area and put the electric fence back so the others cant get in. its easier to unhook elect fence and slide yours in and you could shake the tape at the others so they dont follow and then hook it up. then you can get out of the gate easily with no danger of other horses getting out. hope that is clear...
 
Joined
8 November 2017
Messages
9
Thank you, unfortunately I don't own the land so the electric fence is not an option for me. I will definitely try the other tip of giving them all a chance to settle before I try to sneak away with my horse :D
 

splashgirl45

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 March 2010
Messages
6,560
Location
suffolk
why not ask the YO is you could try this. you would have to supply it yourself but if it is getting to be a big problem it would be worth the outlay. or maybe a friend could lend you some for a trial....you only need enough to make a box around the gate just to stop them barging out. good luck, i know its a pain when you have to bring one in and the others want to come as well..just re read your post, are you feeding him outside the field or is he coming completely away to a stable to be fed? if you are feeding anywhere near the field the others will always be a problem and i would either not feed or make sure you are completely away..
 
Joined
8 November 2017
Messages
9
It's definitely something I would like to try as it sounds like it would be very effective and would give us a little space before I even open the gate. I will have a word and see if it's something we could trial. Thanks for the tip.
 

Cortez

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 January 2009
Messages
8,721
Location
Ireland
I always carry a long whip or lunge whip when I'm leading horses through other horses' fields. If others come up I stop and make them go away. Ours all know the routine now and don't bother, I can even lead horses through the stallion's paddock without him bothering to come up. The only one that is a nuisance is the mule, but he's a law unto himself anyway :)
 
Joined
8 November 2017
Messages
9
Thanks Cortez - when you say make them go away how do you do that? do you just shake the whip in their direction or does it take more than that to give them the idea? As this one horse is quite young and hasn't been trained at all yet I think it's going to be a bit hard to get through to him! I think he is just after attention to be honest and wants to come along with us lol
 

Cortez

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 January 2009
Messages
8,721
Location
Ireland
Thanks Cortez - when you say make them go away how do you do that? do you just shake the whip in their direction or does it take more than that to give them the idea? As this one horse is quite young and hasn't been trained at all yet I think it's going to be a bit hard to get through to him! I think he is just after attention to be honest and wants to come along with us lol
You may have to give the "friendly" horse a tap (or a harder smack if needed); shaking whips is not a good plan unless you want to teach horses to ignore you. Be careful that you don't frighten the life out of the horse you are leading - that's why it's a good idea to stop and make sure you are concentrating on sending the loose horses away rather than creating mayhem with your own horse twirling around in the middle of it.
 
Joined
8 November 2017
Messages
9
Ok thanks, I will give that a try with no shaking whips :). It's just quite overwhelming when they all start running past and around us so I need to try to send them all away before I start to lead my horse off as you say.
 

GTRJazz

Active Member
Joined
14 February 2014
Messages
246
In a field with 8 others I used to push my horse against the fence with lead rope attached, then with the gate open as little as possible go out first then pull him through . It gets worse if horses are all out and the grass is poor like now, or someone feeds or treats their horse in the field because it is hard to catch. Best to keep yours in if this is the case as can get dangerous.
 

PapaverFollis

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 November 2012
Messages
2,114
Definitely ask to make a pen by the gate. Getting one horse through a swinging gate with a latch while trying to contain others is asking for an injury to either horses or yourself... or horses escaping.

Teach your horse to come to call so you don't have to lead him through loose horses. (Full disclosure, mine come to call mostly but not when there's good grass! We're working on it!)

Wear hard hat and gloves.

Getting horses to and from fields is almost as dangerous as riding them, I believe. So don't underestimate it and take steps to make it as safe as possible.
 

cbmcts

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 April 2009
Messages
1,542
I used to have to do this in a field of 20 plus horses on 50 acres. New horses had to learn pdq that a led horse was to be left alone. We all carried a schooling whip when catching in and anything that was harassing a led horse got chased off with a wallop across the chest if necessary. Some owners didn't like that but tough, I don't like being the meat in a horse sandwich :) Consistency is key here, after a short while you could lead a horse through the middle of the herd and it would part like the red sea to let you through. If any of the silly youngsters even thought about being annoying, they got one warning growl then a wallop if that was ignored.

At the gate, I always opened the gate inwards, just enough to feed the horse through and told them to come round (turn on forehand) so they were facing the gate and then I would step through so that I was always blocking the gap in case another horse tried to follow and my hand was always on the gate. I could then close and chain the gate. Same in reverse when turning out. It's worth practising this in an 'empty' gateway first.

If you're worried about the herd charging past and losing your horse, thread a long lead rope through the head collar and hold both ends rather than clipping one on - it's a lot to ask a horse to stand in amongst a hooley and letting go is no sin. This way there's no trailing lead rope because you just let one end go - then go and recatch your horse.

Field manners are very important to me, I've seen too many people smashed against fences/gates or trampled by horses because they can't control (or at least make them think twice) about crowding them. If that means that I have to be very firm or occasionally thump a loose horse to remind them to stay out of my space, so be it. It didn't make any of the other horses difficult to catch, none of them were scared of whips and only once in 15 years did we have anything barge out the gate. I could get three horses in at once if I had to (it was a full mile, uphill to the top of the field so you didn't walk up anymore than you had too!) because while you might have a few follow you down they stayed well back at the gate. It can be done!
 
Top