Originally Posted by Jstrain1283
I have found that the ground work a horse has when it is first started has as much if not more to do with the spookiness of a horse as its age. If the horse dosn't trust the rider then the horse will be skiddish.
I owned my gelding for almost three months before he was started under saddle. In that three months I took him on countless trail walks, desensitized him to stuff, and made sure he had good ground manners. To date, he has only spooked ONCE under saddle and that was when a pack of dogs came charging up to a fence we had just passed barking their heads off. It was his fifth ride. On our last trail ride, we went on a trail we'd never been on before. To get to the trail, we had to ride through a fairly narrow wash that was about 20ft deep. He acted like he'd been doing it all his life. He will be THREE in May.
Now, this isn't saying that I completely relax when I am riding him. I do know that the potential to spook is still there, but because he has a very solid foundation of ground work and desensitization, I know that the likelihood of him spooking is fairly remote.