New horse spooking at people
I would like some opinions on our new horse's behavior. He's a 6 year old appaloosa, and as far as we know, here is the background. He was shown english by a young girl, then sat for a year when she got tired of horses. He was then purchased by the people we bought him from. They wanted a barrel racer for their young son, but they said he just wasn't fast enough. When we tried him out, he was calm and not spooky. When we got him home, he spooked a few times, but I didn't think much about it. However, after riding him several times and working him on the ground, I see a definite pattern. He is completely calm when being ridden, whether in the arena or on the trail. He is attentive, but absolutely no spook. When he is being worked on the ground, he doesn't spook at the normal things - dogs jumping out of bushes, plastic bags, tarps, tractors
Etc. The only thing he seems to spook at is if a person makes a sudden movement toward him. (Getting up from a chair, losing their balance, etc. Then he seems almost frantic for a few seconds. In the field he wants to come up to us and will follow us, but will back away if we try to approach him. We can catch him easily, but seems on the verge of flight until we have him secure. I HATE to suggest he was abused - I know that is seldom the case, but I can't figure out why it is only people he seems frightened of. He also does much better with me and my daughter than my husband, which is unfortunate, because it is his horse. (My husband is very gentle with him). The only other issue we had was a couple of "temper pops" - maybe 4" off the ground when he got frustrated. Both times I kicked him hard forward and made him work hard for a few minutes. He hasn't done it since (keeping my fingers crossed). I has almost forgotten that some horses aren't *gasp* perfect. Been working with Nibbles too long lol. Anyway any input would be welcome. I know I've left something out, but oh well. Thanks!