Lately my horse has been creating an inevitable axiom that whenever I ride past a particular end of a particular arena, he spooks!
It's only in the lower large arena, at the end by the woods, next to a bush that's planted in the corner.
It's strange because we've ridden him by there a million times with no issue. Now he can't get by it without spooking. My technique has been simple, ride him as if it does't exist, if he spooks put him back to work and not make a huge deal out of it, I don't anticipate either. No luck! He spooks every time he gets near the spot! Walk trot canter, and I never really see it coming.
Yesterday it was particularly bad. I had him in the perfect frame, he was round, on the bit, had his head down. But whenever I got to that part of the arena he would spook. This is unusual because usually when he is being spooky he will put his head up, hollow out, and stop paying attention. His spooks were just so random, like, I had him cantering and he was in frame, head down, forward, I set him up deep into the corner approaching the push and nudged him forward with my leg so he didn't lose the impulsion. But as soon and he had straightened out of the first corner, he stopped DEAD, like, from a forward working canter into a dead halt, through his head up, and shy'd. I was absolutely taken aback by this it was very unexpected. I put him back to work and pretended it didn't happen but no luck.
My mom thinks he's reacting to the bush lately because a skunk sprayed it, but I'm just not sure.
Any opinions, advice?