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Horse is spooky on trails?

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        02-15-2014, 10:00 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    Two questions:
    What do you do when she spooks at the leaf she just happened to realize is about to eat her?

    Have you had your horses eyes checked? If you have or once you have and know her eyes are ok.

    What I have done with spooky horses on trails is LOTS and LOTS and LOTS and LOTS and.... (I think you get the idea)of trail rides. Try and see what is going to spook your horse and distract her before you get to the big boogeyman that is about to scare her.
         
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        02-15-2014, 11:14 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    When she spooks I usually just make her walk on. If I know what it is that spooked her, I will take her back up to it and make sure she knows it's not going to eat her.

    I have not had her eyes checked, why is that important? (I'm curious haha.)
         
        02-15-2014, 11:36 PM
      #13
    Foal
    I have ridden mostly Arabs that always spooked at things or on guard. I am now on a Morgan who is not so spooky. The Arabs always jumped sideways. My DH is still riding one and she always spooks sideways. I had a horse that lived til 30 and she always spooked. I really think alot of her spooks were from boredom in her case. She was an endurance horse and when we were at rides, NO spook even if she was leading.
    On training rides, she was hell to ride. It does help to have a horse that doesn't spook to go along with.
    I used to go with a friend of mine and we had the same kind of horses. We got to laughing so hard one ride because the horses were feeding off each so bad, we were not getting anywhere. One horse would spook and stop and the other one wouldn't budge either.
         
        02-16-2014, 05:02 AM
      #14
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CrossCountry    
    When she spooks I usually just make her walk on. If I know what it is that spooked her, I will take her back up to it and make sure she knows it's not going to eat her.

    I have not had her eyes checked, why is that important? (I'm curious haha.)
    It could be a cause for spooking if the horse has bad eyesight or some type of partial blindness causing spooky looking shadows to appear in her vision. From the sounds of it she's only like that on the trails though, yes? Usually a horse with eye problems will spook in many situations, but I guess there still is that possibility.
         
        02-16-2014, 08:46 AM
      #15
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CrossCountry    
    When she spooks I usually just make her walk on. If I know what it is that spooked her, I will take her back up to it and make sure she knows it's not going to eat her.

    I have not had her eyes checked, why is that important? (I'm curious haha.)
    You have gotten a lot of great advice. I will just add, and some may disagree, but with these spooky, everything is a horse eating monster types I don't like to take them up to look at stuff unless is something really unusual that we normally don't see. Stopping and looking means their feet stop moving, feet stopping means brain has time to start reacting. The best thing to do is keep the feet moving and do lots of transitions, lateral movements, circles, hop over logs, trot around trees keep her guessing what your going to ask for next so she does not have time to look for things that may eat her. And even when you find something unusual don't just head at it and stand there do serpentines to it, do rollbacks near it you will know if she is really committed to being scared if she stays excited or relaxes as soon as you ask her to work, if that makes sense.
         
        02-16-2014, 10:30 PM
      #16
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by redrose1    
    I have ridden mostly Arabs that always spooked at things or on guard. I am now on a Morgan who is not so spooky. The Arabs always jumped sideways. My DH is still riding one and she always spooks sideways. I had a horse that lived til 30 and she always spooked. I really think alot of her spooks were from boredom in her case. She was an endurance horse and when we were at rides, NO spook even if she was leading.
    On training rides, she was hell to ride. It does help to have a horse that doesn't spook to go along with.
    I used to go with a friend of mine and we had the same kind of horses. We got to laughing so hard one ride because the horses were feeding off each so bad, we were not getting anywhere. One horse would spook and stop and the other one wouldn't budge either.
    We have an arab at my barn who has been there for many years, and he always, ALWAYS spooks at one particular corner in the indoor arena, despite the trainer trying to get him over it. Go figure.
         
        02-17-2014, 04:22 PM
      #17
    Foal
    My Arab was a big spooky, scaredy cat on trails for a while. An obstacle course really helped us. It got him thinking about new things instead of reacting. I walked him through it the first time, and then we would ride through it every time we were about to go on a trail. It just got him in the right mind set.

    I would switch things around so it always seemed new. A path of tires can be rearranged easily. A tarp can be made smaller and larger and move it around. Cones on their sides. All kinds of things laying around the barn can be turned into obstacles.

    I don't know what your new place will be like, but maybe you could set up a few to go through before a trail ride and then (like others have said) find obstacles on the trails to make her go through. A jumble of limbs, around trees, back and forth through puddles - anything to get her thinking instead of reacting.

    That worked for me and my big coward. ;)
         

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