I needed to move him and the two horses he was pastured with to a new pasture, but I couldn't do that until I could halter him.
The guys were good enough to set up my round pen and haul in several loads of sand so I now have a nice area to work in.
I ran all three horses into the round pen, then led out the other two, leaving Rio by himself.
He wasn't happy, but not too concerned since Ashwin and Abby weren't far away.
I attempted to make progress with him, but after about twenty minutes, realized that he was still taking his cues from the other horses and not focusing on me at all. He didn't "need" me since he still had his friends close by.
So I moved the Ashwin and Abby to the new pasture.
Rio quickly figured out that he was now alone except for me and proceeded to scream for his friends who ignored his pleading.
I left him to think it over and when I came back he was a little more willing to work with me, but not much. He let me touch him as much as I wanted, but he still wouldn't let me bring a rope or halter anywhere near him.
I was trying to reach him like I would a horse, but obviously that wasn't working. He needed to feel like he had some say in what happened, but at the same time, he needed to understand that he had to work with me and do what I said, no matter whether he felt like it or not.
So, much as I hated to give in and bring another horse into the picture, I had no other options. I saddled up Smoke and brought her to the round pen.
He went crazy as soon as he saw her, but thankfully she treated him with complete indifference, which dampened his mood slightly.
I got a long rope and mounted Smoke. Rio was so excited to have a companion, that he stuck to her like glue, allowing me several opportunities to get the rope on him...without having to make a fool of myself by attempting to throw the rope around him.
He shied away from the rope too quickly for me the first few times, I finally managed to "rope" him.
Now I had to try to hold onto him! He may be only nine months old, but he's strong!!
I tied him to my saddle and rode Smoke around the pen to get him used to yielding to the rope. He didn't like it one bit and nearly pulled me from the saddle several times.
I wasn't getting anywhere from on Smoke and it was getting dark, so I got off and tried to work with him on the ground. Smoke waited for me patiently by the gate.
It took me another twenty minutes, but I managed to get another loop around his nose, so it made a makeshift halter.
I had much better control this way and spent a few minutes teaching him to give to the pressure of the rope.
He wasn't happy with me at all, but was starting to respect me a little.
After another fifteen minutes, I managed to slide a real nylon halter on over the makeshift rope halter with one hand while holding on to the rope with the other.
Success! After six hours, I finally had a halter on him!
I spent a little more time just walking him around and teaching him to give to the halter.
I would have liked to work with him a little more, but it was dark and I needed to get him settled into his new pasture.
I left his halter on so hopefully it will be easier to catch him in the future.
He's been an interesting animal to work with! We still have a long way to go, but I think we've made good progress.