Spooking- talk to him. That causes you to relax too. My horse is the same way and he only calms down when I "talk" to whatever is scaring him. I once had a conversation with a herd of deer and a squirrel once, and he was completely fine. Try not to anticipate it, because you aren't even giving him a chance then. When you walk towards something going the same direction as you, the horse thinks he is pushing/driving that thing away (herd 101, pressure) and when something is coming towards him they're putting pressure on him, so ask him to plow right back. Get into a power walk, and he'll be less likely to back down.
Have you sacked him out/desensitized him? Keep doing it, or if you haven't.. Start doing it! The more you prepare your horse, the less he will spook. If he spooks ignore him. Don't be angry, don't be concerned, you could laugh about it if you want. He'll learn that it's nothing to be afraid of.
Children? Give them some treats and ask them to feed your horse. Have him in a leadrope with halter and let kids be kids.. run around screaming, laughing, jumping, leaping, falling over, crying, etc. and just let him soak it in. Let him watch and then do some basic ground work with him. Then plan to ride him another day with the same kind of distractions. This is a form of desensitizing.
As for being clumsy, make him trot over those ground poles and don't accept no for an answer. If they are wooden then there is a better chance he'll pick up his feet. raise some poles on wooden blocks or something safe and make him trot over them. Not walk.. trot. Not canter.. trot!
When he does it without tripping, give him a break. He just needs to learn to be sure footed. Take him out in hand on some rocky trails and let him figure out what he needs to do. My boy was the same.. and a good trim also helps so make sure his feet are in order. He could be sore, who knows. Explore all possibilities.
"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 05-05-2012 at 08:39 PM.