Can anyone give me some ideas for how to get past this phase in my horse life? I've owned my Paint gelding for less than 2 years. Prior to this I had owned a QH mare for 15 years. She and I went everywhere together on the trail - just the two of us. Now this young whipper snapper is my horse after my mare passed away. I have very little info about his past but know that he was probably gelded late - around 6 or 7.
He's drop dead gorgeous, super, super smart and is coming around to be a pretty good boy. I've had to let him know his place in a firm but loving way. Here's the issue - he's a perfect trail horse as long as he's not leading. This weekend I had to make him lead as no one else was riding except a friend whose mare just won't take the lead. I made him do it but he looks for excuses to spook and jump sideways, which is not fun for me. I start getting all nervous and wondering what he's going to find to react to. Eventually I'd love to trailride him alone by myself but I'd probably be a nervous wreck. Any suggestions on how to get horses to be more brave and confident. He can be a bully around the barn but is a big whimp when he's off the property and thinks "some monster might jump out of the bushes." I'd appreciate any help as I mostly trailride -it's my passion to be in nature with my horse. I have over 1,000 acres to ride in on Cape cod (MA) I love this guy but need a more confident partner.