As some of you know, my 12 year old gelding and I have been working on his car issue. He gets hot when a truck approaches. I noticed its not a big deal with my mothers car but a big deal with my fathers truck. At first, I thought it was fear. The other day, on my way back to the barn my father pulled in the driveway and went towards the barn. Harry got ants in his pants when he saw the truck. I figured the truck was going to pass us but instead it pulled in a few feet (1/2 a dozen yards) in front of us. Harry hit into a trot and followed the truck in. I got him back and was like "no, we don't run towards the barn", so we turned around and walked back to the barn. We re-arrived and he marched up to the back of the truck like "no big deal. I have no issue with cars and you are crazy person for thinking so".
Harry did race (harness track) as a two year old and maybe as a three year old. At the track, he would have followed a start car/truck. Is he having some sort of racing flashback? Clearly this changes my strategy for getting him over his car fear. Its less fear and more "I need to go follow the car and race". Any advice on how to remind Harry that the reason he retired from racing was because he was not that good at it?
Right now, my plan is to stop treating it like its a fear (ie. Slowly desensitizing him to it). Instead, I plan to try to ignore the behavior and reward him for standing still when the car goes by.