So I took Lacey (I was leading her, a little kid was riding her) in the 4th of July parade that goes though the town she lives in on Saturday and I had some issues.
I think all of the issues I had (fidgeting, pulling on the lead rope, nudging me with her head) were the products of nervous energy. She's a pretty nervous horse and I've gotten her calm when she's home but out of her home turf she's a little bundle of nerves again. She's not spooky at all even when she's nervous so I'm thankful for that..just saying.
I figured out how to deal with all of the issues we were having at the time, I'd shove her face away when she nudge me, I lunged her at the walk at the end of her lead rope (that calmed her right down, she was perfectly happy to continue with that the entire time we had to wait,) and we lead her with one person on each side of her (2 lead ropes attached to her halter) and she calmed down with that during the parade. But I want to know how to solve these issues long term.
I'm not sure how to show her that she's just as safe away from home as she is at home. Maybe I should take her off of her home turf more often? There aren't any trails around her place so we end up riding on the road and there is only one pretty deserted road that I feel comfortable taking her on on my own. I don't want to confuse her or over load her system but I want her to know that she's safe in all situations. She was calmer in my presence than in anyone else's (I left her at one point to use the restroom and when I came back she practically jumped into my arms like "Mom! You returned! Save me!")
Any ideas about how to show her that she doesn't need to be nervous?
Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding
Rest peacefully, Lacey.