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yadlim 03-16-2012 12:55 PM

What is the stupidest thing your horse has spooked from?
This is a classic joke at my house now... It is a bit of a stroy, but it goes like this.

I was riding my National Show Horse down 2 miles of side of the road to get to the main trail to ride. He is natually a bit hot, but the monotony of walking the side of the road has both of us just sort of blah. The roads are steep and most of them are sparcely driven. As we are coming to where we have to to onto the main road with almost no shoulder, and across a huge bridge with absolutely no shoulder, I start to get a bit, um, uneasy.

Shaman, the dork, picks up on this and looks about to see what is making me worry. As we top a hill, he looks across the busy main road with cars zooming past to the pasture on the other side. At that point, he freezes. Through my heavy western saddle, I can feel him holding his breath. He snorts once, turns and looks back at me (why woudl I have been so silly as to have been actually holing my reins?) and clear as day says "OMG, do you see the pack of bears????"

I looked across and note that there are four black COWS in the pasture about 80 yards away. I pat him on the neck, tell him he's fine, pick up my reins and cue for him to walk on.

Shaman, the brave brave soul he is, starts to hyperventalite. His feet are glued to the spot. He starts to snort again, gives me THE EYE and goes "MOM, those area BEARS!!! We can't go forward!!!!" By this time the whole horse is startign to shake in fear. I can feel his hearbeat though the saddle.

I spent about two minutes talking calmly to him, letting him know that they are not bears, just cows. It is safe, I will protect him. The whole time his shaking is getting worse, his heart beat feels like a race car engine and I know at at somepoint he is going to lose it. However, I am two miles from home. I have a crushed spine and cannot mount from the ground and really can't walk two miles home uphills. I am going to have to sit out his explosion.

Well, one of the reasons that I can ride this horse out on trail is that it takes him so long between something scary and reaction. We stood there for just over ten minutes with his feet glued in place until one of those darn cows turned and looked at us.

Pow, Shaman spun and was out of there in half a stride he was at a collected canter... remember I had ten minutes of warning, more then enough time to sit deep in the saddle and have my reins short. Shaman was not amused with the collected canter for long as it just was not fast enough. So, being a 5 gaited part saddlebred, he shifted into his rack at the canter which he can do in full collection and is much faster.

That sucker did his fast rack the entire two miles home, not breaking stride until we passed the front gate. I spent the whole time swearing and cusing at him. In fact, when we got home I was so disgusted with him that I left him saddled and went into the house and had my daughter go put him up. I looked at my husband and flat told him I was selling that #@$#@$#$##%$$ horse.

So the next day hubby forces me back on the horse and sends us down the road. GRRRRRRR. I am not amused and just waiting for a repeat. We get to the same spot and Shaman is anticipating the bears... but this time the cows were in thier shelter eating hay. My horse suddenly goes from shaking and nervous to looking over his shoulder at me, and I swear, clear as day he says. "Hey... Mom! Mom! Those arn't bears!! Those are cows!!! See, there was nothing for you to be worred about!" At which time we continue past all the scary cars and bridge like they are nothign and have a great four hour ride...

I don't understand...

So what's the joke at my house? "Look mom, it's a bear!!" every friggen time we pass a cow... sigh.

busysmurf 03-16-2012 01:02 PM

Sometimes I would love to peek at what goes on btwn their ears, LOL. Then again I have a hard time figuring out what's btwn mine;)
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yadlim 03-16-2012 01:06 PM

The problem is that I know what goes on between his ears... most of the time it is cricket noises. Sometimes it is "CARROTS" and sometimes it is "terror omg I am going to die" sigh. I love that stupid horse so much, and he is so single minded that many times I simply can't believe there is nothign else going on in there...

The whole boarding stable calls him the dork fish.

justjump 03-16-2012 01:08 PM

The wind... Literally the wind spooked him. Absolutely no reason for him to spook, and he freaked out. Ugh...
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attackships 03-16-2012 01:10 PM

aww hhaa. My horses have never seen cows! They would probably react the same way. One of my mares saw a heard of goats and was incredibly suspicious. Her head was moving back and forth, trying to look at each one, and her eyes were Huge just trying to figure out what they are.

I have a really great Arab/QH trail horse, but she does occasionally spook and it's always at the same thing.... In the mornings I'm guaranteed a perfect ride but in the afternoons her nemesis comes out... HER SHADOW. She's a good girl, won't stop or bolt or anything, but she drops about 3 feet when she gets a look at her shadow. Then she's over it and moving on so quickly that i never knew it happened until it's over. I just have to pay attention to my seat a little better while shadows are afoot.

She's a really strange horse though. She has little behaviors that always leave people saying "she's kinda weird isn't she?" but overall shes a fantastic trail horse.

Courtney 03-16-2012 01:10 PM

My mare spooked at a chair the other day. We've been walking past this chair every day for 2 months, but I guess the snow had melted just enough to make the chair look like it could possibly eat a horse. The path was icy, and I slipped as my mare was spooking. I fell right in front of her, nearly between her front legs.

As soon as I hit the ground, my mare stopped spooking. She planted her feet, and lowered her head so I could grab her mane for a 'leg up'. Then, she walked calmy beside me, stopping whenever she felt my footing slip a bit.

WSArabians 03-16-2012 01:17 PM

A chalk line in the sand. Took me almost ten minutes to get her across.
Good Arabian rep. LOL

HanginH 03-16-2012 01:18 PM

I had a really nice heel horse that I had used on cattle a lot but seemed like evertime you would ride out to move cattle or check cows he would see them in the distance and be a little spooky until you got right up to them. I always thought it was wierd because he had seen them so much and wasn't at all afraid of them when we were actually working them but from a distance I guess they were pretty frightening.

PaintHorseMares 03-16-2012 02:42 PM

I can ride our youngest mare, Cinnamon, all day in the woods through foot deep dried leaves making all sorts of noise...but if I ride her on the asphalt road and a few of those same leaves blow on the road making a scraping sound, she's got to dance around them like stepping on one would kill her.

Rascaholic 03-16-2012 03:02 PM

Rascal spooked yesterday at a bumble bee. I took flight about 5 feet from us. He almost mowed me down shying sideways. Did I mention he did this on 3 legs LOL I had his hind foot in my hand scrubbing his hooves.

(waiting for the farrier that never showed!)

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