As you all may know, I have a pretty spooky horse who likes to go into panic mode at anything out of the norm and likes to offer me up as a sacrifice when something scares him (A.K.A he dumps me and runs.)
I've been working on getting him on the aids, putting him on the bit, pushing him into area's he's generally tense around and bending him to inside. He's been great!
But there's still one thing I want him to REALLY get over.
I've seen people riding their horses in 40 MPH winds slamming into the arena walls and I don't know how they do it!
My horse absolutely hates the wind, the howling noise it makes, the slamming noise it makes as it slams into the arena doors, the dirt and pine cones it throws up against the barn walls. He just holds his head up, jumps, eyes wide open heart beating out of his chest.
So in all fairness I avoid actually riding him when gale force winds are out, because my hand is still not unbroken from the last fall I took due to a windy freak out.
But I lunge line him in this kind of weather to make sure he get's exercise and to switch up his routine [I don't lunge very often at all so it's a nice switch up.]
Last night we had 40 MPH winds and it was FRIGID. I almost fell over the winds were so bad! I couldn't see my boy on wednesday because I was stuck at work, so I lunge lined him for a while to give him his work out.
As some of you may know from other threads, he favors one end of the ring and is terrified of the other.
Seen as how I am a very inexperienced lunge liner, and with previous experiences he ends up turning towards me and refusing to move, I lunged him first on his favored end of the ring. I got him to walk trot and canter very calmly, he did very well.
I decided to switch to his unfavored end and work him again in each direction down there, and ironically that end is usually where the wind is the scariest. I wanted him to get some experience working with those noises.
He was reluctant at times to lunge at that end, but I got him to move eventually, trotted him around a bit, cantered him around a lot [he LOVES to canter!] And he was doing fine till the wind picked up and he bucked and sped up. I pulled him back to a trot, trotted him a while, then cantered him till I knew he wouldn't buck again.
I changed directions and he was fine again till he randomly bolted, throwing random bucks and trying to pull off the line. Great for my already messed up hand, huh? Needless to say I help onto the line tight and pulled him back to a walk and made him walk trot and canter again, and then I was done.
Holding him and patting him he would randomly jump at the sounds of the wind, he was walking in my hand after the lunging and he felt so tense, he held his neck tense and took tense steps and would randomly jump. Riding him in that kind of wind would have been a very dangerous situation for me.
So all things considered the fact that he actually lunged for me was very good but he was terrified at times and would bolt and buck.
Even though I can pull him back from these things I would love for him to become bombproof, so he can be a safer ride, because when he's being ridden by me or my mother and here's the wind he's not so fun especially if he pulls the stunts he did on the line.
So my question is how can I get him used to these terrifying weather elements? I know some people don't ride their horses in heavy winds because they panic so bad it's downright dangerous to them and the horse, and I'm sticking to a plan like those people for now because I'm trying to play it safe with my hurt hand. But I would love to eventually get him on no matter what's going on weather wise, or if there's construction, or anything, and have him be calm and cool.
So does anyone have any idea's as to how to get him used to these horrible elements that make him panic? Or should I not try to push it at risk of hurting me, or him, a.k.a just not do anything extensive when the wind gusts are heavy?