How to Catch a Pony from a Field

While most ponies can benefit from time in a paddock or pasture, they will eventually need to come back inside. Knowing the best way to catch a pony can save hours of chasing an unruly animal around their turn-out.


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    Enter the paddock. If there's more than one pony, don't bring food inside. Shoo the ponies back while opening the door, and always close the door behind you! While inside the pasture, do a quick check for ponies that appear sick, and remove any litter or large stones you find.
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    Approach your horse. Speak to him quietly to avoid surprising him, and wait until he sees you before approaching him. When approaching, remember to:
    • Keep your eyes focused on his shoulder or a similar place; you should watch him but never stare him in the eye. If he's well behaved, you can offer him a treat, such as a carrot apple, mint, or specially formulated pony treats.
    • Never walk directly towards him. Instead, approach as if you were going to pass by or in an angle, and keep your body angled away from him instead of directly facing him.
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    Stroke the pony. Continue talking to him in a soft voice, and stroke along his neck or another place he enjoys. After a few strokes, take the lead rope and circle it loosely around his neck - this is to prevent him from moving off while you put on the halter. Remember not to be jerky, timid, or aggressive in your actions.
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    Put the halter on the pony. To put it on, make sure it is the right way round, and slide his nose through the nose-piece. When this is done, bring the long strap with holes over the top and buckle it up with the shorter strap on your side. Again, you should be gentle but firm. Lead the pony out of the field: if your pony is the only one there, leave the gate open. If not, be careful to keep the other ponies back while you lead your pony out, and securely latch the door.
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    Remember to reward your pony for good behavior! Giving him a healthy snack like an apple slice occasionally is a good way to make him look forward to the visits - on the other hand, you must never harm your pony for bad behavior. Similarly, don't always take your pony out for work, or he'll dread your visits. Instead, occasionally take him just to groom him, give him attention, and let him eat some grass.


  • If nothing works, ask an experienced, responsible horseman to help you.


  • If there are other ponies in the pasture, don't bring in food unless you have enough for everyone.
  • Always shut the gate when going into the pasture, and (if there are other ponies in the pasture) when going out.
  • Never "sneak up" on your pony! Always approach him from the side, talking quietly to him.
  • Never approach a horse or pony you don't know!
  • Avoid giving your pony a treat every time you go into the pasture - this can cause obesity and/or nipping.

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Categories: Horses