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by Downunder Horsemanship

Training Tip: Catch Your Horse in the Pasture Challenge

Can you go out to the pasture and catch your horse and lead him to the gate without having to halter him? How your horse greets you and what he’s willing to let you do with him when you enter the pasture says a lot about your partnership. As you progress through the Method and complete the Fundamentals Series, you should notice your horse “catching you” when you come to get him out of the pasture. He’ll want to be with you and will willingly follow you because he respects you and trusts you as his leader.

Step 1: When you step through the pasture gate, your horse should immediately acknowledge you by giving you two eyes. When you ask him to come toward you, he should respond. I lean forward and beckon the horse with my finger; just like I do when I’m roundpenning a horse and asking him to come into the center of the pen with me.

Step 2: Once the horse comes up to you, you should be able to rub him all over his body while he stands still and relaxes. You shouldn’t need a halter to keep him beside you, no matter how many other horses are in the pasture or what else is going on nearby.

Step 3: Then, when you’re ready, you should be able to lead the horse up to the pasture gate. He should stay by your side and follow you without running away or taking his attention off you.

Getting a horse to give you two eyes, to run up to you when you ask and to follow you without restraint begins with the roundpenning exercises in the Fundamentals Series.