Hello Everyone! I am half-leasing an Arabian gelding. I've only been riding him consistently for the past 2 weeks and so far things are going very well. He has great ground manners, and listens to voice cues pretty well. He's not pushy and is very respectful of my space. I think we are bonding pretty well too. He's started to nicker at me when he sees me walking up and will come trotting across the field to greet me.
He hasn't been ridden on trails much and he tends to spook at logs, butterflies, squarrels, reflections, breezy branches.... His spooks are not that bad, they're mini-spooks. He sort of just lurches to the side and then carries on.
He will be the lead horse, follow or go out alone. Do you have some suggestions for helping to desensitize him on the trails? Aside from just putting more miles on him. He tends to spook less when I put him into thick brush. He's too busy watching where he puts his feet so he tends to spook less. Any suggestions of exercises that I can do from the ground?
Riding him is a lot of fun, but you definitely can not stargaze and zone out, you have to have your attention on him otherwise when he spooks you could be on the ground if you lose your balance!
I ride him only 3 days a week, so I won't get to work with him all the time. I hope I posted in the right section, wasn't sure if this should go under trail riding. I also did a search for "skittish trail horse". If this subject has been covered to death, please direct me to the thread and I can read up on everyone's suggestions there.