How do you deal with a spooky horse?
I have a 4 year old gelding that I’m trying to train for barrel racing. I bought him two years ago and started him and he was really going good. But then, last summer, my cousin wanted to use him so I let him do that and he just completely ruined him…He was really rough on him and now that I have him back, it seems like he’s a different horse. :(
My biggest issue with him is that he is now really spooky. It’s to the point where I am a little bit afraid to ride him - I have a pretty good seat so I haven’t fallen off yet but it’s pretty bad, he has bucked, reared, and tried to bolt with me. He is scared of EVERYTHING. I don’t know what to do - I don’t have an arena to ride in so I have to just ride around my farm site and he spooks at every little thing. Also, when I bought him he wasn’t spooky AT ALL. Another thing he has done is when I hauled him to an indoor arena for a fun show, he FLIPPED OUT when people started clapping! Like started spinning around in circles and then flying backward as fast as he could while we were standing in a crowded warm up pen. It was so scary and embarrassing - he could have really hurt someone and I had no control over it. It didn’t get better each time he heard it, either - I finally had to go put him in his stall so he wouldn’t hurt anybody.
What should I do? I can’t sell him; I wouldn’t even make back the money I bought him for when he’s acting like this. Besides that, he is/was a very nice horse before my cousin wrecked him and I think I can get him back to that point, if I could just get rid of the constant spooking. It’s really hard to ride him when I’m constantly worrying that I’m about to get bucked off, which probably doesn’t really help him either…I can’t afford to send him to a trainer, either. This is something I need to deal with.
Thank you sooo much if you actually read this, sorry it was so long!