Glad I'm not the only newbie in the world! I took my first solo ride about a month ago. Mr. Big (aka Shandy) doesn't get real excited so I haven't experienced the spin and bolt routine.
He DID, however, once decide that there were Horse Eating Monsters down by the creek on the farm. The Mrs. Was riding him that day and he just didn't want to go down there. I walked down and led him (with her on board) down along the creek. He was still freaked. So we went up to the barn and the Mrs. Tacked up her spooky Arab and rode him down there. He didn't find any Horse Eating Monsters and, after seeing the Arab handle it with no problem, Mr. Big no longer cared, either.
That is the one and only time he's been really spooked by anything. I had a pheasant fly up about 10 feet away from us the other day and he barely flinched. He's a pretty bullet proof horse, most of the time.
But, thanks for the tips on how to handle it if he DOES get spooky on me someday! I'd have had little to no idea what to do . . . But I'm learning!