Originally Posted by hberrie
...everytime I go out I am more nervous. I walk him to the end of the drive and make him stand there while cars pass. I wait until there are no cars and walk him out aways and back. I practice all the time, but the fact is, I can never absolutely predict how he will behave. I can deal with anything, anywhere, except on the road. Cars freak me out....
You've hit upon a couple of things (see bolded) that need work first and foremost - your angst is going to be picked up by your horse and affect his behaviour. You need to get yourself calm and relaxed but still aware and thinking defensively when you're doing this (no easy task I bet!!!). You are doing a constructive activity with your walks if you're in the right state of mind and "practice all the time" is really consistent as in a daily event. When you're doing your practice it is important to end it on the right note - you end it when your horse is doing things like standing quietly when asked or walking calmly at your side. To end it when he is upset tells him that is acceptable or expected behaviour on his part. As you apply yourself and increase your knowledge, I think you will find that you ability to predict how he will behave will improve greatly - you'll start looking for the little signs (the flick of the ear, the raising of the neck, the tension in the mouth, the widening of the eye, etc) and then draw his attention back to you before anything really gets started.