Horse Spooks at Nothing? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-23-2012, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Horse Spooks at Nothing?

So I have had my 8 year old gelding for about 8 months now.
When I first got him, he was the perfect horse for a beginner (I'm definitely a beginner)
About three months into owning him he got extremely buddy sour towards my 18 year old mare. If I tried going down the road and someone riding my mare would try going a different direction, my gelding would act up and try bolting towards her. Slowly we got over this.
Now he spooks at everything, and nothing. It's ridiculous. He NEVER spooked with his previous owner.
I thought maybe his saddle, bit, ect maybe was bothering him, but he spooks when I'm walking him around with the lead rope, and when he's tied to the wall as well.
Any ideas?
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-23-2012, 10:50 PM
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All I can say is good luck

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post #3 of 12 Old 02-23-2012, 11:12 PM
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Have you had the vet out to maybe check his eye sight?
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-24-2012, 02:12 AM
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It's not nothing it's horse eating monsters that only horses can see, duh! Seriously though good luck it's gotta be SOMETHING
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-24-2012, 02:23 AM
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You say you are a beginner and I would lay odds on that this horse is getting away with a lot of little things that have given him the idea that he can get away with some major issues.

Horses are like children in that they will get away with what they can and keep pushing the boundaries out until they are totally obnoxious.

You need to get tougher with him. When he spooks, get cross with him, if leading give him a hard jerk on the halter rope and make him go right up to whatever he is looking at. Do the same if you are riding him. Be very firm but not angry. Be determined, horses sense that.
In the stable or whenever you handle him, make sure that he does exactly what you ask the moment you ask it. If, say you ask him to move over and he doesn't, give him a hard shove and a slap so he does. Make him wait if you open the stable door until you invite him to go out.
Push him around rather than allow him to push you.
The tougher you are, providing it is fair, the better behaved they are.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-24-2012, 10:18 AM
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You may have to look to yourself, first...

You may be inadvertantly setting up a "vicious cycle" with this horse:

You are worried that he will spook...
The horse senses that you are worried...
The horse begins to worry (because obviously, there must be something to worry about)...
The horse spooks...
You are now even MORE worried that he will spook...

And on and on.

Are you taking any lessons that will help you handle him in a confident manner?

Leasing a spoiled rotten trail horse...pretty - but a brat!
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-24-2012, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SystemFreak View Post
Now he spooks at everything, and nothing. It's ridiculous. He NEVER spooked with his previous owner.
I thought maybe his saddle, bit, ect maybe was bothering him, but he spooks when I'm walking him around with the lead rope, and when he's tied to the wall as well.
Any ideas?
How do you react when he spooks? Reassure or move on and ignore? Think of the kid that falls playing. They look up and if they see overt concern on parents face - they cry for show. Horses know how to work the system too. If I 'spook' I can get out of doing what the human wants me to and be put back out to eat!
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-24-2012, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mls View Post
How do you react when he spooks? Reassure or move on and ignore? Think of the kid that falls playing. They look up and if they see overt concern on parents face - they cry for show. Horses know how to work the system too. If I 'spook' I can get out of doing what the human wants me to and be put back out to eat!
mls is right horses are smarter then some people give them credit for! Maybe he's got YOU trained.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-24-2012, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samstead View Post
mls is right horses are smarter then some people give them credit for! Maybe he's got YOU trained.
Exactly. There is a difference with being truly scared and spooking to get out of work. One I am patient with my horse, the other he gets his hiney handed to him.

I suggest getting some help with him as it may only escalate.

Also when a horse gets a new leader, they must reassess their place in the herd. Are they leader or are they follower?

Being a beginner you're also likely to be toyed with since you haven't spoken "horse" before.

Best of luck :)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-24-2012, 10:53 PM
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That mare is the herd leader. He wouldn't be doing this if he was the leader.
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