The Lungeing Queen
I did it again and did not allot enough time to ride a horse. This time, I walked for nearly an hour earlier in the afternoon. So when I got home I needed a breather.
Figured I'd go out to ride later, only to realize I'd made a dinner date with friends and really didn't have enough time to saddle up.
So, Chance got lunged. He was his usual good boy self.
But again, Toby came into the arena to pester us, so after I finished with Chance I decided I'd lunge Toby for five minutes or so.
He refused to be caught. Even a carrot bribe failed to work. As soon as he saw the rope nearing his neck, he took off again.
Enough, already. He's always been a bit tricky to catch, but bribes usually work. Since I do need to be able to catch my own horse when need be, I decided to persist.
His "running away" consists mostly of walking/trotting around within a set space. If the other horses are nearby, which they were, he uses them as blocks to hide behind so I can't get to him without moving one of them.
I played the game. He kept trotting around in about a 60 meter circular area of the front paddock, just out of reach. Since the area HE CHOSE was small, I essentially round penned him by simply walking towards him in my own circle over and over.
Finally, he stopped and let me put the rope on his neck to lead him in.
At this point, he'd already free lunged for at least five minutes so I didn't think it was fair to his older body to press him any more. Instead, I tied him and gave him a nice grooming with the shedding blade and brush, making sure I added lots of cuddles and a carrot reward.
I'd like to think not working him after capture would make him more likely to be willing to let me get him next time, but with Toby you can never tell. He has his own view of the world and it doesn't always make sense to me.
I've decided to catch him every day and do something with him--groom, treat, lunge, maybe even a very short ride--just to keep him somewhat civilized.
The last thing I need is a feral horse.