Originally Posted by hberrie
I got a slight way out of my barn driveway tonight and a motorcycle came up behind us and slowed down to comment on my horse. He was fine with that to my surprise. A couple steps further someone had their trash out and he totally freaked unexpectedly and backed into oncoming traffic causing a car to come to a screaching halt. It was very scary. I circxled him numerous times trying to get him past it but he kept going into the road and traffic kept coming. I gave up and took him back to the barn and worked him hard in the arena. What would you have done?? I was intent on getting him past it..even went back to barn for a whip but ai feel like a failure. I don't wanna get us hurt out there either.
Get to where you can lead your horse down the road and be relaxed enough about it to make a phone call, or just enjoy the scenery without worrying about what your horse is going to do. The part where you're working him hard with the whip, I've done that quite a bit myself and I can't recall a time when it had the desired effect. Mostly it served to create dullness in my horses and a situation in which I found myself using more and more pressure over time for less and less response. The horse seems to make no meaningful connection between being rode down in an arena or round pen and going out on the trail. Personally, I've found the sticky thread here by Cherie on making good trail horses extremely valuable. If you're not feeling confident enough yet to implement those strategies under saddle, I would adapt those suggestions to leading on the ground. I've begun to do this very thing with a mare I have who's bad to spook on the trail and the results so far are encouraging. :)