Originally Posted by jazzyrider
same as if your horse spooks at something and you stop and stare with him. That will solidify his fears cause he will look to you as well for reassurance when he is scared. Best thing to do in this instance is to show no attention to what is spooking him
Used to think that & still think it depends on the situation, but that is an example of ignoring and disrespecting the horse's fears IMO. I like to acknowledge whatever the horse is worried about for a second or so, to tell him you're on his page, so to speak & then (usually) ignore it & go on your way. If the horse already has a good relationship with you, this is just further confirmation to him that you're looking out for him & he can rely on you to notice potential danger & take action or not for him.
....And then there are other situations where you should encourage their reactions
.... this reminds me of one evening ride, on my unflappable old horse, when we saw a big wombat go into a drain pipe in front of us. We continued slowly up the road past the pipe & then heard a growly noise. My desensitised to all sorts horse turned calmly to look in interest with me, as the wombat shot out of the pipe at us, growling!
I didn't know they could move so fast & didn't know then they have a reputation for aggression, but I wasn't going to hang around & see what he did!
That was probably about the last time I actually kicked a horse into action! The wildlife sanctuary has since confirmed it was a good idea not to have ignorred this 'spook'!
Sorry to go OT... couldn't help but relate that story once I remembered it!