I have a wonderful 12yr old APHA/PtHA
gelding who has 300+ show points. He is a wonderful show horse but will spook
at things such as plants in the trail class or plastic bags.
the recent Pinto Horse World Championship one of the groundskeepers shook out
a plastic bag and Reggie really had a stroke from this. I have tried tying plastic
sacks in his stall all around and praising him for sniffing and accepting the
bags. When we ride him he will jump at things that are not there (or at least
buggers humans cannot see).
I love this horse
but really need to take the spook out of him. We lunge him and ride him almost
daily and he has daily turnouts. He is on a daily wormer, recently had his teeth
floated and he had exams of his hocks to ensure he was not in pain. Our wonderful
farrier comes every 4-6 weeks and Reggies feet are better than they have
ever been. In my opinion has not been over shown by any means. We show maybe once
a month at open shows and once a year go to the Pinto World for two weeks. He
enjoys the personal attention we give him everyday and loves being bathed. He
enjoys being ridden-he comes running when called. He is very easy to keep in shape
and riding well so I do not have him with a trainer.
help as the spooking really has frightened my daughter.
in advance and please keep up the wonderful books-I love the recent almanac book-it
Very respectfully, MICHELLE
glad you like my books and even happier yet that you have such a wonderful horse
! It sounds like you are taking great care of him too.
far as the spooking, it is a common behavior with horses because of their inherent
suspicion of anything new or unusual, especially if it appears suddenly. Spooking
is also understandable because a horse's vision is different than ours, they have
acute hearing, and quick reflexes. It is the nature of the horse to move away
from something fearful, rather
than take a risk of being harmed by it. So understanding WHY a horse spooks is
the first step in helping the horse overcome his fears. I talk about these things
in detail in "How
to Think Like a Horse" so if you want more inside information on what
makes your horse tick, that would be a good book to read.
answered a similar question to yours recently here where a reader wanted to teach
her horse to spook in place rather than wheel and run off: Spook
But to your horse's problem
specifically, his is the classic case of needing "sacking out" - I've
written an article on the topic here: Sacking
After reading these materials,
please feel free to write me again with more specific questions. In the meantime,
please realize that it takes time to overcome such a fear - you never can completely
remove the fear, but you can cover it with layer upon layer of good experiences