I spend probably about 3 hours (or more) a day with her on any given day, although this may be spread even throughout the day or lumped together. She's my hobby, my night life, my party life, my social life... etc, etc! Basically I have nothing else to do, so I go out there to just "hang out"!
She does look to me for assurance- that I've noticed- and knows not to act up. I always mask any fear or anxiety I have with bucket loads of confidence. (The "fake it til you make it" approach.) Usually her anxiety sessions are short-lived, as I get her attention back on me by growing big and getting growly, then get calm and tell her she's being ridiculous. Usually after about 3 times of doing this, coupled with backing her up, lowering her head, and possibly looking at her sternly, she calms down.
I guess the main problem I'm having right now is getting her to act out enough to practice correcting the issue! Lol! Not a bad problem to have, but still!
She is actually very good (about not spooking) for her age. I've exposed her to many things, and we also board near a road with heavy traffic, and train tracks. She's used to all of it, although I'm always making her "get over it" if something does happen to pop out. Typically she investigates before bolting and if she spooks when she's in hand, her reaction time is slower, so I can correct her before she does decide to jump. At the trainer's, he warned me to put her back in her stall when he took the tarp off of my cart (he was going to practice with her). We walked right up to the tarp, and I flapped it right in her face. She popped her head up in surprise once, then proceeded to try and chew on it. Plastic bags that are waved around are immediately inspected for goodies, too. (Which is funny, because I never give her treats, so I don't know why she's associating that with food!) My Mom tried sacking her out with a Funyun's bag... Instead of running away, she came running up and tried one..
I could try the lavender oil. I've heard of such things working, but I've never tried them.
Some horses at this keuring are compliments to the breed, but out of control. Their owners don't ever handle them (because that's what hired help is for, lol!), and they don't know their own horses. I want her to be the most well-behaved horse there, if possible. What she may lack in conformation and movement can be made up for in behavior. After all, it's just a pretty horse in a pasture if they're too wild to handle!