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trailhorserider 11-09-2012 06:49 PM

Need some encouragement and suggestions w/spooking issue
Hi guys.

I'm feeling pretty down and I need some suggestions on how to deal with my green broke gelding spooking. For some of the back story, here is my other thread:

He has had a tendency to spook since he came back from the trainers. He's 2.5 yrs old and has about 2- 2 1/2 months professional training. The trainers exposed him to all sorts of stuff.....cows, cars, whatever, on trail rides, which is what I wanted. The problem is he spooks.....pretty big, and I don't know how to handle it.

I started noticing it when I rode with a friend and her dogs came riding with us. He would bolt forward when the dogs came running back from exploring the woods. This could happen every 5-10 minutes on a ride, he would spook and bolt forward. I would stop the bolt and keep on riding. It made me nervous but I kept on riding.

Then I started riding him alone, which should have been good for us. The trainer rode him alone. He would still randomly spook at things such as wild turkeys or an ATV pulling a noisy wagon. Things I would expect a horse to spook at.

Then 3 days ago he spooked at a crow that was hopping around on the ground and flew off. He spun, bolted, and started bucking. I got bucked off on a hard gravel road. I'm still physically recovering from it. It's the hardest fall I have ever had from a horse.

To give the horse the benefit of the doubt, I was riding in some pretty big spurs because the trainer trained him that way and he really is pretty lead sided without them. So I'm guessing the spurs caused the bucking, being that I was hanging on for dear life I'm sure at least one of my legs was touching him.

So where do I go from here? How do I deal with the big spooks that I may not be able to ride out? I already plan to try him without spurs. I would rather have him unresponsive than cause a bucking wreck. But I am a little irked that I "need" spurs for a young horse. Apparently that isn't standard practice when starting a youngster. So now I have a lead sided greenie.

So besides ditching the spurs, how should I try to prevent this from happening again? Do a one-rein stop? Ride aggressively towards spooky objects? How do I instill confidence in the horse?

I spent $2000 getting him trained and now here I am with a fairly serious spooking problem. I'm very discouraged. :cry: I really love the little guy and was hoping he would be my future trail horse. That's all I do is trail ride. I don't even have an arena. I need to either get him confident, give up on him or die trying. I would prefer to get him confident. :-(

DancingArabian 11-09-2012 07:30 PM

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Groundwork groundwork groundwork.

It will help give him confidence in you as the leader and I think it will change how he spooks and how often. He's young and nervous. Lacking confidence in himself and in you as leader. I recommend Clinton Anderson.
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stacysills02 11-09-2012 07:38 PM

he just young my guy spooks at stuff all the time. ive noticed if hes with alot of horses he spooks less. hes been doing better ever sence ive started riding more with others. my sugesstion would be do some ground work on desensitizing. ive noticed now when i ride by myself hes alot more confident. he still spooks at stupid stuff but not as much as he use too. i guess somehorses are just spooky

DancingArabian 11-09-2012 07:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
If he's spooking less when other horses are around its because he trusts them to take care of him more than he does you in that situation.

He's gained confidence through your rides with others and its reflecting in your solo rides.
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Saddlebag 11-09-2012 08:13 PM

Get a few riders to go with you and NO dogs. Ride for three hours if you can. Tiring the colt out will help with his spooking issues. There's an old saying, nothing like wet saddle blankets to take the stupid out of a horse.

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