After spooking in hand
Hi! I've had my horse home for a few months now. He's pretty well trained, although he tends to be a bit insecure. So I've started doing some ground work with him, getting him listening and have been hand walking him. He's spooked a few times in hand, hasn't taken off on me, but kind of jumps and then gets worked up, blowing, tail up, prancing etc. Just wondering what is the best thing to do when leading? At the first sign that he's becoming weiry, and after he has spooked and is on edge? Thanks
Go immediately back to what you were doing before he spooked, as if nothing happened.
When you start walking do a sudden change of direction so that if he's not paying attention he'll feel the halter pull. Walk half a dozen steps, change direction, pretty much in the opposite direction. Change up how far you walk and your pace. After you've done this half a dozen times nothing will matter to him but keeping up with you. If he's also been inclined to get ahead of you, this will fix this as well. If you stop for a breather, he'll be happier to stand quietly. Be sure to use a knotted halter.
Agree with above. Also the more groundwork you do and work on establishing your role as *worthy & considerate* leader, the less he'll have to worry about the monsters in the bushes himself. So further to Tiny's suggestion, assuming you weren't actually doing anything much beforehand, I'd just calmly & quietly start asking him to do something - some turns on forehand & yielding hindquarters - lead him in a small figure 8 for eg, backing up, leading around/over obstacles...
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