"To prevent the all thing (before spooking):
When you see a cow running towards you, pretend that you cannot see it." I'm so used to them, I don't even pay them any attention. I'm used to them running around, and not the two horses (one is 28, and another one I think is 22) have never acted the way he does, even if the cows are right on the fence. Even moving they don't care.
"Continue the exercise you are doing (trotting, small circle or anything you are doing). Even if you are in canter, don't get him back to trot or walk." One time we were cantering around my instructor (picking up and dropping my stirrups), than he pulled a spooking on me, I got him under control and made him canter again.
" By this behaviour you will suggest the horse:
"I don't see any reason to do something else, lets go on with the work." And inside you must be prepared what to do if he spooks against all those things i've written.
If he does not spook, reward him somehow, let him have a bit walk or evengive him a small piece of carrot. By his way you will suggest him:
"Good, that's what I wanted." " And that's what I do, if he's cantered nicely (collected and doing his rocking horse ability. Sooooo smooth, almost like doing a rocking horse) I'll trot him for a few strides, than allow him to walk around, and since I ride western, I have long reins, and I usually give him all of the rein (he hasn't pulled anything at the walk), and I allow him to walk a strtch for a few minutes. I always pet and stroke my horses on both sides of their necks. I also give verbal praises and let them know what they did was what I wanted. With the gray gelding, he never wants to pick up the canter, there is nothing wrong with him for him not to pick up the canter. And when he does, when he's doing it I tell him what a good boy he is (especially when he does it the first time I ask, not the twentith.... :roll: )
"When he is spooking (during spooking):
You must tell him by your body language:
"This is not the one I asked from you! You are doing it wrong, stop this urgently and get back t work."Stop him as fast as you can, even by using your hand and weight a bit more harder. You have won when you can stop the spooking after 3-4 canter leaps.
You've loosed if he spooks for a total round." I try when I can. Where I live it is very wet. And this is an out door arena, so it isn't uncommon for a portion of the arena to be marked off because it's either frozen or too gooey. When the rainy mist came down, I reacted quickly, I turned him fast, only to realize the area I was turning him was becoming mud, so I gave him some of his head back so he could rebalance himself (I didn't want him or myself to fall over), and when he did, I took back the rein I gave him, worked the opposite way, and I did a larger reverse than I wanted, again, some portions that are reknown for becoming mud, and that area was becoming muddy not necessaryly gooey, got him close to the rail and made him canter again, and when he went past it calmly, I transitioned downward to a working/posting trot. Along the rail is fine, it hardly ever get's gooey, and than I trotted him both ways, than walked. Than we had to go in after doing a forehand turn, because it wouldn't stop. Why am I not surprised :roll: . I remain relaxed when he's spooking.
Never get him back to walk or to totally stop. If you were trotting before spooking, gat him back t trot, but not to walk. If you were cantering before spooking, gt him back to slow canter. If you were doing small circle or something, get him back to this. After finishing that exercise, give him another one. You suggest this:
"You've done it wrong but this is no reason to pause the riding." By giving him more exercises you can suggest him: "Can you see what you've achieved with your wrong behavior?"" We do this all the time with horses that spook, we make them work harder, longer, and in the grays case at faster gaits, usually the posting trot. I weave through cones, barrels, and polls if their out. I don't excuse any spooking, for any reason. I just evaluate and see how hard they need to be worked
I think two times it was genuine fear, and I stopped him both times, chocked up on the reins, and made him go into a circle. Not saying that all horses can be stopped, but my experience is, you can if you know what buttons to push. For him it's getting in a circle, no matter how hard you have to pull on his mouth (he has a sensitive mouth, so it doesn't take that much force. And I only use enough to get his attention, which isn't a lot.), than repeatedly digging my heel into his side until he yeilds and doesn't fight. I don't have spurs on so I don't have to worry about hurting him. I only use enough pulling on the bit, and heel pressure, until he get's into a small circle, and is obviously paying attention to me.
I should also mention that when I started to ride him, for the first few lessons he would spook 3-4 times....
..... now he only does it once, perhaps twice. But twice is the max. I think he's starting to figure out that I won't allow him to spook, no matter what, and that he should listen to me at all times. If any horse isn't paying attention to me or is trying to predict my movements, I screw with their minds, horse wants to go right, I'll have them go left, if the horse wants to trot, I'll have them do a slow collected walk
. Show them to try and predict my movements.
Screwing with horse heads, gotta love it. Than you should see their ears. They almost seem to say 'Hey! This isn't part of the pattern!' I'll do the things that horses don't necessarly like to do, but I want to do. Change things up and make sure their listening to me and not any one else or anything else.
Before I got switched to the dun horse that I fell off of, because this horse is so da_n smart, he'll do what the instructor talks, she'll just tell me to transition down ward to the next gait, as not to tip the horse off, even when she tells me what to do, I still make him work at the gait I'm currently at, until I want to do what she wants (usually in what 10 strides I do. Depends on how well he's doing). She even told me that it should be my idea, not his. And usually he's persistant :roll: , no surprise there.......
I always tell myself to relax, even when he is spooking. That nothing will come from the situation if I loose my cool.