What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Hard to Catch or Halter


A horse that is hard to catch or halter is an altogether too common problem that reflects a lack of relationship between human and horse. It is not an inherent trait of your horse. It developed because the wrong cues were given to the horse at some point. This problem can be solved with proper training in a round pen.

This may not seem to be something that should concern your vet, but I believe there is a continuum between issues that have physical causes and those that are purely behavioral.

If you cannot catch your horse, it is likely that there are other "relationship" problems too. This deficiency affects the veterinary relationship: you are less likely to be able to catch and trailer your horse in an emergency. You may not be able to give medications or follow-up care; and you are more likely to get hurt.

  • Code Green

    Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources
    • Some vets have valuable advice regarding behavioral and training issues.

your role


What To Do

If your horse is hard to catch or halter, please review and practice the related skill "Teach Horse to be Caught Easily" before an emergency arises. Contact your vet, who can recommend trainers in the area that may be able to help you solve specific problems. During the time that you are teaching your horse a better way, they may need to be kept in a small corral alone.

What Not To Do

Do not wait until an emergency situation to address this issue. It is important for you learn to catch or halter your horse beforehand.

your vet's role

If however, you are faced with an emergency and you cannot catch your horse, contact your vet for additional advice. Ideally, your vet is an experienced horse person who can catch your horse for you in an emergency.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Has this behavior developed recently?
  • Was the horse every easy to catch?
  • Is the horse now kept in a group of other horses?
  • Did someone else catch the horse recently, and have any difficulty?
  • What have you tried in order to solve the problem?

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP